Temple of Warriors
The Temple of Warriors is where some of the distinctive, reclining chac-mool figures are found. However, its name comes from the rectangular monoliths in front, which are carved on all sides with images of warriors. (Some are also prisoners, their hands tied behind their backs.)
This temple is also closed to entry, and it can be hard to appreciate the fading images from the rope perimeter. You can get a much closer look around back, on the temple’s south side, where you can easily make out the figures’ expressions and dress. There you can also check out the temple’s impressive south-facing facade.
A series of well-preserved human and animal figures adorn the lower portion, while above, human faces emerge from serpents’ mouths, framed by eagle profiles, with masks of Chac, the hook-nosed God of Rain, on the corners.
The aptly named Group of a Thousand Columns is adjacent to the Temple of Warriors. Its perfectly aligned cylindrical columns likely held up a grand roof structure.
Across the plaza, the Palacio de las Columnas Esculpidas (Palace of Sculptured Columns) also has cylindrical columns, but with intricate carvings, suggesting this was the ceremonial center of this portion of the complex. Continuing through the trees, you’ll reach el Mercado (the Market). The name is purely speculative, though it’s easy to imagine a breezy bustling market here, protected from the sun under a wood and palapa roof built atop the structure’s remarkably high columns.
© Gary Chandler & Liza Prado from Moon Yucatán Peninsula, 9th edition