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Chichen Itza Pictures that are not possible to take anymore

5 Aug, 2022

The declaration of "Wonder of the World" on July 7th, 2007, brought some changes to the Archaeological site of Chichen Itza. As was expected, some new regulations had to be applied. This resulted in the closure of certain areas to protect the heritage. Which inevitably changes the way visitors saw the site. There are no complaints about the choices made, but it sure makes us appreciate what we have now and value the Chichen Itza Pictures that are not possible to take anymore…

Chichen Itza Carlos Abreu pictures
Photo by: Carlos Abreu Méndez 

Carlos Abreu Méndez was one of many people that got to see Chichen Itza from a unique point of view. He recently shared in La Jordana, some pictures he took when he visit Chichen Itza. Carlos shared how pleased he managed to save those, now historical pictures. Now it is not possible to recreate those pictures, since the spots are now restringed. 

You can also check out our Chichen Itza gallery here.

Invaluable views of Chichen Itza 

Carlos, who is 82 years old, looks at his photographs and remembers that, before, in Chichén Itzá there was free access to visit all the constructions and even climb them, capturing scenes that now would only be possible with a drone or special permission. But sure, it wouldn’t be the same as climbing the rocks to snap a photo.

Carlos Abreu sharing his pictures of Chichen Itza
Photo by: Carlos Abreu Mendez

Although Carlos believes that this was a wise decision to protect archaeology, today he finds that his photographs are invaluable because, in his time, he was able to take them from wherever he wanted.

In addition, other structures, such as The Temple of the Jaguar, now have ironwork protections that also prevent him from recreating images like the ones he was able to take more than 15 years ago when Chichén Itzá was named one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. 

Chichen Itza Carlos Abreu
Photo by: Carlos Abreu Méndez

Before all this happened, "it gave us the freedom, for those of us who like photography, to take pictures, which is no longer possible", more than 60 years ago the archaeological zone was completely free and he is proud to have taken advantage of those times to create "invaluable material".

But he recognizes that thanks to this designation as a wonder of the world, the scope of this Mayan construction had a worldwide reach, although the pandemic slowed down its growth. But still, it’s evident how the word about this Wonder of the World is spread around the world.


Other memorable photos of Chichen Itza

In 1870-1880, Chichen Itza was receiving many visitors and explorers, people who had taken with them the first cameras. This used a piece of glass and needed a negative process. Still, this allowed more clear and detailed pictures of the ruins. Remember the first explorers could only make infographics and very precise drawings, so pictures were something that was going to shock the modern world.

During this time, explorers had a hypothesis regarding the connection between the different civilizations in Mexico. Some even dare to say, they were connected to ancient civilizations in other parts of the world.

For 5 months, in 1889, Alfred Percival Maudsaly and Henry Sweet, draw and took pictures of the Archaeological site of Chichen Itza. They paid special attention to the area where the Sacred Cenote was and the Nuns’ Complex.

Alfred Percival inside The Church at Chichen Itza
Self-portrait of Alfred Percival Maudslay, inside The Church. The picture was taken in 1889. 


Old picture of Chichen Itza
Chichen Itza, aerial view

Source: Yucatan Ancestral and La Jornada


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