Palenque – Late Mayan City

Although the original Mayan name for this northern city differs, Palenque, which means 'fortified place' describes it very well. It was a vibrant city in the Mesoamerican world around 600 to 750 CE, although other reports say the area was populated from as early as 225 BCE. As it was at a convenient juncture between the more agricultural inland area and the coastal plains, it stood as a beacon for trade in those centuries. A wide variety of goods float in and out of the city on a regular basis.

Multiple kings ruled Palenque throughout the years and added and changed things as they saw fit. Due to the prosperity of those eras, the city grew to be quite large and impressive. Today, UNESCO has listed it as a World Heritage Site, and it is one of the most common destinations for tourists who wish to experience the unique central American culture from ancient times. Most of the buildings and possibly artefacts are still buried underground and beneath the jungle growth.

Since the city lasted for so many years, it has distinct sections from different time periods and royal families. Its great buildings rest on three different layers that follow the natural lay of the land up the tree-covered hill. The massive palace at the top has many doorways, a four-story tower, and a much larger in her room than found in other places in the Mayan Empire. This makes the city quite unique compared to others in the Mayan civilization. The royal palace claims the prominent space in the town instead of a temple.