Palenque, declared a World Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 1987, was the most important city of the low western lands during the late Classic period. It reached its peak between 600 and 800 A.D.
Palenque was, along with Tikal and Calakmul, one of the most powerful Classic Mayan cities. It was the seat of one of the most distinguished dynasties, which Pakal belonged to, whose tomb was discovered in 1952 by the archaeologist Alberto Ruz L'Huillier.
Architecture, sculpture and inscriptions
Inside the Temple of the Inscriptions's mortuary chamber, which is seven meters high, there is a beautiful decoration and a richly carved sarcophagus containing the remains of Pakal II or K’inich Janahb Pakal II (Sun Shield Bird-Janahb), who lived between 603 and 683 A.D. and ruled for 67 years.
The Palace is one of the most beautiful and complex structures of the Mayan World due to the diversity of its elements. It consists of hallways, staggered bases, subterranean galleries, courtyards, panels with hieroglyphics and other sculptural elements, such as the Oval, which displays the enthronement of Pakal next to his mother Zac Kuk.
The Cross Group consists of the Temple of the Cross, Temple of the Sun, and Temple of the Foliated Cross, three staggered pyramids with temples that commemorate the ascension to the throne, after the death of Pakal the Great and Lord Chan Bahlum II. The Temple of the Cross is the tallest in the group.