Copan- The Cultural Centre of Maya
The ancient city of Copan is located in Honduras, near the border with Guatemala. It is surrounded by mountains and pierced by the river of Copan. It is one of the most beautiful Maya cities and very famous for its sculptures and hieroglyphic inscriptions. Archaeological excavations have found life in this place between 1100 and 900 BC, but the biggest boom came in IV-IX century, when it becames one of the cultural centers of the Maya, especially in astronomy. It is well known that the most accurate solar calendar was invented by the Copan astronomers.
You can see there some of the most complex reliefs on the Earth. They were carved on twenty-one columns, 3-meter tall stone pillars covered with figures, faces and animals and continue to stand in their original position. The main part of the city is the acropolis – an architectural complex of squares, temples, pyramids and terraces. Two temples greatly stand out, one celebrated astronomical discovery related to the periodicity of the eclipses and the other is dedicated to Venus.
You can find the famous so called hieroglyphic staircase nearby the Acropolis.This impressive staircase, which leads to one of the temples, consists of 63 steps and is decorated in its upper part with 2500 individual characters, representing the longest inscription from the time of the Maya. This is an incredible view and all the of seated gods and priests are simply unforgettable
Another interesting landmark is the Copan river. The river runs through the city near the acropolis and it is amazing, because the river is changed its downstream during the years and now you can enjoy the beautiful gap it is made- 300 m. wide and 30 metres tall.
You can also take a picture of the Jaguars ladder, framed by impressive figures of relatives of the cats, which bodies were covered with inlays of black obsidian to resemble the spots on the skin of the animals. You can also visit the amphitheater, which astonishing structure and facade are one of the best Mayan art achievements.
According the legends, Copan city was destroyed by Ernan Chavez back in 1530 year.
The ruins of the city was revealed in 1839 and were almost entirely covered by the jungle. Nowadays, thank to the government of Honduras and many organizations, Copan city is great tourist attraction and archaeological park It is well restored and cleared and if you have time just visit it. Face the past and enjoy the beautiful Mayan art. You wont regret even for a second.