Copan map

Photo Tour of the Ancient Maya Site at Copan, Honduras

Please click on yellow arrows to see photos from that spot.
NOTE: The dotted line in the upper right shows where the Copan River is collapsing some buildings on the east side of the Acropolis.

Paul Gendrop, the maya architecture historian, writes: "The ceremonial center of Copan reveals an urban plan that arranges space in a particularly flexible manner, and employs subtle means -- like stelae and altars on the main axes -- to make the major lines of its composition stand out. The Great Plaza, with a north-south axis, is subdivided into various parts by intermediate elements.

The northern extreme constitutes a grandiose ceremonial amphitheater with a grandstand enclosing three sides of the plaza, and a high stepped platform delimiting the other side. It incorporates various rows of stelae and altars whose deep and whimsical relief is markedly baroque in character.

Entirely different in concept, the southern extreme abuts on the imposing front of the acropolis, whose broad stairway must have served as another great tribune. Toward the center of the plaza is a small ball court partially enclosed by an L-shaped appendage."

Paul Gendrop, A Guide to Architecture

Great Plaza Stela A Stela 4 Stela B Stela D Stela C Stela F Stela H Ballcourt Hieroglyphic Staricase Temple 11 Pauahtun Head Structure 22A Temple 22 Copan River Cut East Court Salvanged Architectural Ornaments Jaguar Staircase, East Court Copan Acropolis Tunnels Temple 11 South Side Structure 16 and Altar Q