Besides the impressive stone structures fashioned from mostly limestone, visitors can still see evidence of the opulent surroundings characterized by man-made pools and fountains, brightly coloured paintings inside protected from the elements, and many intricate and beautiful stucco carvings. The palace was not only a thing of beauty and comfort, however. It also showcased a considerably effective laboratory system that allowed the royal waste to be whisked away in an underground stream.
Of course, no Mayan city would be complete without an impressive religious building or compound. Although it was not at the centre, the nine-story pyramid temple mimicked the local belief of the multi-layered underworld. Upon its discovery and exploration in the 1950s, a secret passageway from the top was found to wind down to a hidden chamber deep inside with several skeletons surrounded by decorations and jade figures. Inside lay King Pakal the Great, who was generally considered to be the top ruler of Palenque. The records show that it was built before the king died and not after like all the other pyramids in the other Mayan cities.