While staying at one of the Honduras rentals, one must explore the ancient Mayan ruins which are steeped in history and culture. As you move around the varied structures such as the temple, sculptures, stairways, courtrooms and other monuments, you will notice a distinctive sculptural style that earmarked the entire Mayan civilization. The Copan Ruins are located in the western part of Honduras. The ruins are about 60 kilometers from the border with Guatemala. The Copan Ruins has more than 5,000 elaborately carved structures which include sculptures depicting rulers and the locals, temples, monuments, ceremonial sites, alters, murals, etc. Following are the main areas of interest in the Copan Ruins.
The Hieroglyphic Stairway
The Hieroglyphic Stairway erected by King Smoky Shell is so far the most famous of all Copan's monuments. Here, you can see the system of writing practiced by the Mayan people. The Hieroglyphic Stairway is full of Glyphs, a pictorial form of writing. The Glyphs on the stairways depicts the story and achievement of the royal house of Copan. The Hieroglyphic Stairway is also known as Structure 26, and it is the longest known text of ancient Mayan civilization.
Archaeologists have excavated 4 km of tunnels under the Acropolis. Of all the tunnels uncovered, presently only two - the Rosalina Tunnel and the Jaguar Tunnel - are open for public viewing for a fee. As you explore the tunnels, you will find several hieroglyphic texts dating back to the early dynastic rulers. Remnants of the old temples can be seen within the tunnels.
A raised royal complex on the south side, the Acropolis was the royal complex constructed at the heart of Copán city. It consists of two plazas: the West Court and the East Court. This monumental structure houses the maximum number of sculpted monuments at the site. As you explore the West court, you will come across a temple (known as temple 11), believed to be a portal to another world. It is connected to the North plaza which includes the Hieroglyphic Stairway and the Ball Court.
The Ball Court
The Ball Court found in the Copan Mayan ruins is the second largest to be found in Central America. The Ball Court was used to play deadly games by the rulers of the Mayan dynasty. Most famous, but violent games were held in the Ball Court.
Stella and Altars
The Stellas in the Mayan ruins are extraordinary pieces of artistic design. Stella M, constructed in front of the Hieroglyphic Stairway, is the most recognized Stella of the Mayan civilization. If you look closely at each Stella, you will find extensive inscriptions and designs that describe the ruler who built them or an important event. Most Stellas have an altar placed in front of them, usually meant for ceremonies.
The Copan Ruins and the Museum of Sculpture are open from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM daily for the visitors. And if you want detailed information, guided tours are also available. A civilization so vast needs time and appreciation. To enjoy the principal ceremonial sites of the Mayan ruins, make sure you do not rush your exploration trip. To explore them, book your Honduras vacation homes with Vamoose.com, where the listings are sorted on the basis of price, location and amenities.