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Pyramid of the Magician (Pirámide del Adivino) - Ruin - Mexico

The most famous structure at Uxmal is the Pirámide del Adivino, variously translated as the pyramid of the magician, soothsayer or sorcerer. A beloved and oft-told Mayan legend relates that the adivino had to construct the pyramid in only one night, or face execution by Uxmal’s king. But this was no ordinary magician, but a dwarf who was hatched from an egg and raised by a witch, reaching adulthood in only one day! The magician did build the pyramid and became king.

The Pyramid of the Magician towers over Uxmal, with steep sides rising 35 m (115 ft). Visitors familiar with square, stepped Mayan pyramids may be surprised to find that that this one features an oval base and rounded sides, which slope at a steep angle. The pyramid looks like one structure but is actually five separate pyramids, built one on top of the other. A massive Chenes-style snake’s mouth doorway pierces the building near the top, which is surmounted by an ornate temple.

During the summer solstice, the western staircase aligns with the setting sun. Unfortunately, visitors may no longer climb the 150 steps to the top to witness this spellbinding event.


Here are other activities in and around Uxmal Ruin Complex that may be of interest: Uxmal Ruins - Other sites of interest, Uxmal Ruins - Nunnery Quadrangle (Cuadrángulo de las Monjas) and Uxmal - Governor’s Palace (Palacio del Gobernador).

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