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El Tajín archaeological site

Papantla

The word “tajin” has been translated as “thunder” or “great smoke”, so this Mesoamerican religious and political center is often referred to as “casa del trueno” (house of thunder).

The El Tajín archaeological zone is located just 10 kilometers (16 miles) from Papantla and in 1992 it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, given its archaeological, cultural and historical importance. So all the travelers who arrive at Papantla have an unavoidable appointment at this site with the mighty god of thunder.

The Totonaca city stretched between the basins of the Cazones and Tecolutla rivers, but the area explored and recovered to date covers about 10 hectares (more than 24 acres), where 40 buildings stand, in their heyday, they were covered in mural painting.

The Pirámide de los Nichos (Pyramid of the Niches) is the most notable of the group and also the most studied one, due to its particular design that includes 365 niches, one for each day of the year.

Other important buildings are the Templo Azul (Blue Temple), with different characteristics from the rest of the complex, the buildings of Las Columnas and Tajín Chico. But a fact that draws attention is that 17 Juegos de Pelota (ball game courts) were found there, the largest number found in a single archaeological site to this date.

The Tajín also has a Museo de Sitio (Site Museum) and, next to the entrance, the Voladores de Papantla perform their ritual dance every half hour. Put on comfortable shoes, sunscreen, and explore! The place is truly fascinating.
The word “tajin” has been translated as “thunder” or “great smoke”, so this Mesoamerican religious and political center is often referred to as “casa del trueno” (house of thunder).

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The El Tajín archaeological zone is located just 10 kilometers (16 miles) from Papantla and in 1992 it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, given its archaeological, cultural and historical importance. So all the travelers who arrive at Papantla have an unavoidable appointment at this site with the mighty god of thunder.

The Totonaca city stretched between the basins of the Cazones and Tecolutla rivers, but the area explored and recovered to date covers about 10 hectares (more than 24 acres), where 40 buildings stand, in their heyday, they were covered in mural painting.

The Pirámide de los Nichos (Pyramid of the Niches) is the most notable of the group and also the most studied one, due to its particular design that includes 365 niches, one for each day of the year.

Other important buildings are the Templo Azul (Blue Temple), with different characteristics from the rest of the complex, the buildings of Las Columnas and Tajín Chico. But a fact that draws attention is that 17 Juegos de Pelota (ball game courts) were found there, the largest number found in a single archaeological site to this date.

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