Casa de las Tortugas

Yucatán State & the Maya Heartland

The House of the Turtles, which you'll find on top of a hillside overlooking the Juego de Pelota (Ball Court), takes its name from the turtles carved on the cornice. The Maya associated turtles with the rain god, Chaac. According to Maya myth, when the people suffered from drought, so did the turtles, and both prayed to Chaac to send rain.

The frieze of short columns, or ‘rolled mats,’ that runs around the temple below the turtles is characteristic of the Puuc style.

On the west side of the building a vault has collapsed, affording a good view of the corbeled arch that supported it.

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