Palenque, a spectacular Mayan city with its harmonious architecture, the capital of a great dynasty, appears in the midst of an exuberant tropical forest.
Palenque is famous for the sophistication of its sculptural style, for its stuccoes, the proportions of its architecture and above all, for the tomb of king Pakal (7th century), discovered in the interior of the Temple of the Inscriptions in 1952 by archeologist Alberto Ruz; it is truly a marvel of Pre-Columbian America.
Both the sarcophagus and the monolithic stone covering it, which weighs more than 15 tons, are totally sculpted with marvelous reliefs. The tombstone represents the powerful king Pakal who lies resting on the great mask of the Sun of the Underworld, a semi-emaciated being; behind him lies a stylized cross that represents the tree-center of the world, a point of union between the heavens, the earth and the underworld.
This guide makes it possible to know the Mayan city that had an exceptional splendor in the Classic period. Its history, its discoverers and the tour of its monuments and stuccoes contained in its pages, ends with a visit to the Site Museum where original Palenque artworks are displayed, all supported by selected illustrations.
The text is written by one of the best specialists in Mayan culture.