View of Governors Palace from the Grand Pyramid

Grand Pyramid

February 15, 1997


The Governor's Palace...surmounts a triple terrace 50 feet high and covering five acres of ground; the palace itself is 320 feet long, 40 feet wide, 26 feet high, and contains twenty-four chambers. The elaborate and rich mosaics decorating its four façades are composed of some twenty thousand specially cut and fitted stone elements. The Governor's Palace at Uxmal is, in my opinion, the most magnificent, the most spectacular single building ever erected in the Americas in pre-Columbian times.

Sylvanus Morley, The Ancient Maya, p.330

NOTE: This picture is an excellent illustration of what has been called "negative batter," a technique the ancient architect used to widen the walls of a building slightly as it rose in order to compensate for the effects of perspective. The goal was to make the building look perfectly rectangular to someone viewing it from ground level.

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Last update: March 29, 1997