Itzá: Old and New
There are two different areas in Chichén Itzá, evidenced by the
different types of architecture. The older section was settled before
the Toltec conquest and its buildings are of a distinct style called
Puuc, named for the hilly region in the southwestern Yucatan. Among
the distinctive aspects of Puuc architecture are the latticelike,
crisscross designs on the front of buildings and the long hook-nosed
masks of the rain god Chac that appear on the corners and sides
of many structures. And it is in this area that we find the Caracol,
a unique structure that was once thought to be of little use but
is now believed by many to have served as an observatory.
newer section of Chichén Itzá was constructed after the Toltecs
arrived. Though the Mayan monster masks are ubiquitous in the buildings
here, much of the architecture exhibits a strong Toltec influence.
Buildings are decorated with images of Toltec officials and feathered