Chiapas - 2005
The Grand Plaza
The Grand Plaza, including the Ball Court and Edifice XVI, Edifice XI, and Edifice VIII, at Yaxchilan

The Grand Plaza at Yaxchilan is truly grand, running a long narrow path alongside the Usumacinta River.  The Grand Plaza comprises several temples and stelae, including Edifices III (Roman numeral “3”), V (“5”), VI (“6”), VIII (“8”), XX (“20”), XXI (“21”), XXII (“22”), XXIII (“23”), XXIV (“24”), and Stelae I (“1”), III (“3”), and XI (“11”).

According to the INAH Plaque accompanying this plaza, the Grand Plaza is 1 of 3 large architectural groups that make up the city’s monumental core and forms the principal axis in the urban layout.  The Mayans built extensive limestone fills along the bank of the Usumacinta River to create a broad strip of level ground over 2,500 feet long and 265 feet wide.  The Mayans then constructed temples, housing groups, bases, ball courts sweathouses, and marketplaces, all arranged around lesser plazas, 2 of which held monumental stelae as their central element.  Archaeologists believe that this section of the city housed the city’s civil, military, and religious powers, besides serving as a meeting place for the region’s populace.

Map of the Grand PlazaCHIAPAS-YAXCHILAN-GRANDPLAZA-Map-2005.htmlshapeimage_4_link_0