Edzná (Campeche)

Temple of the Five Stories
TOP THAT: Edzná's 102-foot Temple of the Five Stories (Liza Prado)

An important regional capital between 600 and 900 A.D., Edzná is a majestic archaeological zone featuring architectural styles used throughout the Maya world, including Puuc, Petén, Chenes, and Río Bec. The site covers over 15 square miles with dozens of excavated and restored structures. Among them is the imposing Temple of the Five Stories, a 102-foot-tall pyramid thought to have been both a residence for priests and, at the uppermost level, a shrine. Remarkable, too, is Edzná's 14-mile-long network of canals and water storage tanks, which were dug around the city center to transport people, goods, and water to and from surrounding agricultural zones. It is believed that this advanced hydraulic system allowed the city to grow and sustain its population.

Inside Tip: Although the meaning of Edzná is a hotly debated, the Mexican Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) recognizes its translation as “House of the Itzaes,” a reference to the indigenous group that once populated the city.

Practicalities: Edzná is located 37 miles from Campeche City and is accessible by car or bus (the bus drops visitors off about 650 feet from the entrance). Open daily 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; admission US$3.

LIZA PRADO and GARY CHANDLER are the authors of numerous guidebooks to Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean, including Yucatán Peninsula and Cancún & Cozumel , both published by Moon Handbooks.

Published: 6 Oct 2006 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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