Thursday, 9 May 2013

Edzna: one of the most interesting Mayan cities

Where is Edzna? 

The Edzna Ruins are located 55 km southeast of Campeche City in the State of Campeche by the Federal Highway 180 in Mexico. Edzna is a Mayan name that means House of the Grimaces (also known as the house of Itzaes).

The city was founded around 600 to 300 BC as a small agricultural community. Edzna reached its most important era as a grand regional capital between 600 and 900 AD.

Edzna is one of the most interesting Mayan cities due to the technological advances developed there, such as:

• An advanced system of hydraulic works; 
• a magnificent drainage system, and 
• artificial deposits called Chultunes, used to contain the rainwater.

The Edzna Ruins cover an area of three kilometers East to West and two kilometers South to North.

In Edzna, there exist two large clusters of structures: the Group of the Ceremonial Center and the group of La Vieja.

The ceremonial center of Edzna has a central square surrounded by several structures such as:

• The Acropolis on the Eastern side; 
• the Large House or Nohol Na on the West; 
• the platform of the Knives on the North, and 
• temples on the South.

Where to stay in Edzna?

The closest hotels are in Campeche City.

How to Get to Edzna Ruins:

Several tour companies in Campeche City operate tours of the site, although given how compact the ruins are, it may not be worthwhile if you’ve already visited other Mayan sites and are happy to wander around on your own.

From Campeche, join one of the collectivos, mini-vans that ferry passengers to various points within and outside the city, found around the main public market (confirm your destination with the driver.) On departure from Edzna, you’ll have to walk out to the highway to flag down one of the collectivos on its way back to Campeche City (they pass every half an hour approx.).

The Ruins are located 55 km away from Campeche City (one hour drive).

We recommend you take a tour in Campeche or ask about other options in the Tourist Information office on Campeche's Main Square.

By car- Drive south from Campeche City on Highway 180 and turn on to Highway 261 at Km. 45 which leads to the site.

By bus- Autobuses Ejidales depart from Avenida Republica in Campeche City south of the public market and across from the Puerta de Tierra. The cost is $20 pesos (around $2 usd).

What to do at Edza Ruins:

In May, you can see a representation of the Mayan ball game (poc ta pok), one of the most important prehispanic games. 

On Fridays and Saturdays, there is a Light and Sound Show. At night it can get cooler, so make sure you are warm enough. 

Schedule and Prices for Edzna Ruins:

Open Daily

From 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Price : $46 Mexican Pesos (approx. 3usd)

The Light and Sound Show runs on Friday and Saturday- Winter at 7:00pm, Summer at 8:00 pm. Purchase tickets that include the show. 

Price- $85 Mexican Pesos (approx. 6usd).

Interesting facts about Edzna:

Edzna rose to glory during the Classic period. This site contains numerous canals and water deposits, which denotes an advanced technological society. The site also contains a short sacbe which is in relatively good conditions along with a large plaza, acropolis, ballcourt, steambaths and a large temple/pyramid.

Edzna was the location for the filming of Mel Gibson's Hollywood film: Apocalypto. After producing and directing the most successful independent film of all time, "The Passion of the Christ", Mel Gibson shot his next film "Apocolypto" at Edzna. Gibson reconstructed replicas of some of the ancient Mayan structures in order to minimize damage to the actual site. Filming, however, was done with the actual structures as background. Apocaplypto was released in 2006 and was filmed entirely in the Mayan language. The cast consisted of local indigenous Mayan actors.