El Tajin is located in the Gulf of Mexico, state of Veracruz, near the cities of Poza Rica and Papantla. This pre-Hispanic city reached its splendor between 600 and 900 A.D.; it was mysteriously abandoned in the year 1150 A.D. and later rediscovered by the Spanish in 1785. Its access to the gulf made easy for this city to control all commercial, political and religious exchanges of the region. Today it is a popular destination for archeological tourism in Mexico.
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|TULUM AND XEL-HA FROM COZUMEL||PUEBLA AND CHOLULA FROM MEXICO CITY||XOCHIMILCO AND NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF MÉXICO||CHICHÉN ITZÁ FROM RIVIERA MAYA|
El Tajin was built by the totonacos, for this tribe the name means “the city of the god of thunder”. The architecture design is characterized by elaborate carved reliefs on the columns and friezes. The main building is the Pyramid of Niches, which is related to the solar calendar since it has 364 niches plus one on the top that crowns the temple.
The totonacos’s god was Quetzalcóatl, symbolized by a serpent with feathers. You will find it painted and sculpted in many of El Tajin's buildings.
For those who have the privilege to visit this antique civilization, there is a spectacular ritual called Dance of the Flyers. It is a worship related to the sun and earth fertility, where the flyers ascend to a tall pole and spin slowly to the ground. On the top of the pole there is a leader who plays instruments to the four cardinal points.
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