Palacio de Quetzalpapálotl


Off the Plaza de la Luna’s southwest corner is the Palace of the Quetzal Butterfly, thought to be the home of a high priest. The remains of bears, armadillos and other exotic animals were discovered here, showing that the area was used by the elite for cooking and rituals – not the kind of animals an average person would have eaten.

The Palacio de los Jaguares (Jaguar Palace) and Templo de los Caracoles Emplumados (Temple of the Plumed Conch Shells) are behind and below the Palacio de Quetzalpapálotl. The lower walls of several chambers off the patio of the Jaguar Palace display parts of murals showing the jaguar god blowing conch shells and praying to the rain god Tláloc. There are more complete murals in the Museo del Sitio.

The Templo de los Caracoles Emplumados, entered from the Palacio de los Jaguares’ patio, is a now-subterranean structure of the 2nd or 3rd century. Carvings on what was its facade show large shells, possibly used as musical instruments.