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El Castillo

Posted by
Steven (Chicagoland, United States) on 3 February 2012 in Landscape & Rural and Portfolio.

The most outstanding building of Tulum is the Castle, El Castillo, pictured here and perched on Tulum's highest cliff. This temple-topped pyramid also served as a watchtower and a lighthouse. Like many important structures in the Mayan world, the current building is the result of different stages of additional construction. It began as a palace-like base, the staircase added at a later date and eventually it was crowned by the temple on top. The doorway to the temple has columns in the shape of rattlesnakes, with the tails supporting the roof and their heads adjoining the floor. Due to the rapidly increasing number of tourists to Tulum, El Castillo is now roped-off, and not possible to climb.

Although it is named as such, it really isn't a castle at all. It was mainly used for sacrifice and ritual celebration, with the king making his royal proclamations (sometimes involving death sentences), from the very top of its staircase.

There are three known entrances to El Castillo, but rumor has it there was a fourth, secret entryway, known and used only by the king himself. Supposedly, it was located at the very bottom of the cliffs, far beneath the castle, and could be accessed only via one secret passage that led to a hidden beach grotto.

Photo captured November 18, 2011.

NIKON D7000 1/250 second F/8.0 ISO 140 48 mm

New photos posted on most Mondays through Thursdays.
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Spotlight Images

Roman from Thiersee, Austria

wow, what amazing and vivid colours - excellent HDR work Steven

3 Feb 2012 7:29am

Nigel from Avening, United Kingdom


3 Feb 2012 8:35am

Sarito from Basingstoke, United Kingdom

Beautiful green patch around the temple.. lovely shot

3 Feb 2012 8:36am

Curly from South Shields, United Kingdom

Despite being surrounded by other tourists you manage to make the scene vivid and bring it to life with your immaculate tone mapping.

3 Feb 2012 9:10am

Stephen from Canberra, Australia

Incredible story and superb processing to bring history to life!

3 Feb 2012 11:57am

Mhelene from Paris, France

Very beautiful and very interesting !

3 Feb 2012 12:12pm

klausz from kufstein, Austria

fanastic clearity and hdr processing!

3 Feb 2012 2:08pm

Rick from Toronto, Canada

Another wonderful angle and more impeccable processing to bring out the oomph!

3 Feb 2012 4:24pm

Francisco Romero from Carbajal de la Legua, Spain

The luminosity of the image is simply fantastic!

3 Feb 2012 4:49pm

Calusarus from St Sorlin en Valloire, France

Typical architecture. A very nice shot.

3 Feb 2012 5:32pm

Denny Jump Photo from Easton, PA, United States

I think this is great Steven and I will say again, I actually like the inclusion of people here... for some reason it just helps with the perspective and sense of scale...and it show that there still are people out there who care about our history rather than tearinig everything down!gorgeous..

3 Feb 2012 6:01pm

Alun from cheshire, United Kingdom

very good shot, lots of life

3 Feb 2012 10:10pm

Dokmateo from Madrid, Spain

A very nice story and spectacular toning! Splendid shot!

4 Feb 2012 12:38am

Elaine Hancock from Rockville, United States

Amazing construction. Beautiful framing and POV. Very interesting information.

4 Feb 2012 2:57am

Michael Rawluk from Williams Lake, Canada

That is a good view of it.

4 Feb 2012 5:42am

Shaahin Bahremand from Tehran, Iran

what a great capture
well done

4 Feb 2012 6:52am

tataray from france, France

Belle architecture et quelle lumière ... Grandiose))

4 Feb 2012 3:27pm

Steve Rice from Olympia, United States

A beautiful building indeed. Such a gorgeous image.

5 Feb 2012 1:12am

Kala from United States

Gorgeous composition, colors, and light. Looks to be a beautiful place to visit.

5 Feb 2012 1:16am

B. Thomas from Arlington, Texas, United States

These nice shots are making we wish to return to Tulum again.

5 Feb 2012 2:20am

vu@granby - Wolfgang from Granby, Québec, Canada

Nice processing!

5 Feb 2012 11:29pm

Phil David Morris, 2012 from Saskatoon, New York, Canada

Even from this distance there is no mistaking its grandeur, and oh, those greens are so pristine,
possibly the way it was back in its heyday, and yet the barriers hopefully hadn't been invented yet.

6 Feb 2012 2:56pm