Uxmal, view from Nunnery Quadrangle

Major Platforms

"At Uxmal the House of the Governor itself rests on a sequence of four platforms. The lowest platform measures 625 feet on the east by 570 feet on the north but is only about four feet high.

The second platform is elevated well above the general level of the city and is sufficiently broad and expansive that it could have accommodated comfortably large crowds, processions, dances, or rituals. It is about 25 feet high, 540 feet long on the east, and 450 feet wide. The northwest corner of this platform has an extension that projects 50 feet to the west and supports the building known as the House of the turtles [seen mid-level on the right]."

Jeff Karl Kowalski, The House of the Governor: A Maya Palace of Uxmal, Yucatan, Mexico, p. 9-11


Governor's Palace

"...The plan for this great terrace was probably determined by the alignment ultimately planned for the House of the Governor. As will be show, the House of the Governor was purposely oriented toward certain architectural point of interest within Uxmal and on the southeastern horizon. The second platform roughly parallels the alignment of the building, indicating that virtually the entire complex must have been conceived as a unified architectural composition."


Governor's Palace

This photo shows the platforms very clearly: the low Platform One, the massive Platform Two, and the equally massive Platform Three. Platform Four is low and obscured in the photo, and it supports the House of the Governor, which rises above everything.


Governor's Palace

The northwest corner of platform 2 has an extension that projects 50 feet to the west and supports the building known as the House of the turtles.

Starting at the level of the Ballcourt (foreground), the lowest platform rises a mere 4 feet, then the massive level 2 platform rises 25 feet and supports the House of the Turtles and is spacious enough to accomodate large crowds, processions, dances, and rituals. Platform 3 rises an additional 20 feet and supports the House of the Governor seen at the top of this photo.


Governor's Palace

Platforms One and Two support the House of the Turtles and provide a large public space.


Governor's Palace

Staircase leading up to Platform Two.


Governor's Palace

Iguanas like to hang out on the platforms and sun themselves.