El Tajín

Named after the Totonac rain god, El Tajín is a pre-Columbian archeological site located in southern Mexico and is one of the greatest cities of the Classic era of Mesoamerica. From 600 to 1200 CE, the city flourished, resulting in the construction of many temples, palaces, ballcourts, and pyramids. It remained unknown to Europeans from the time of its decline in 1230 until 1785, when a government inspector stumbled upon the Pyramid of the Niches. In 1992, the site was declared a World Heritage for its cultural significance and unique architecture, which includes the use of decorative niches and cement. Its most famous monument is the Pyramid of the Niches, but other noteworthy features include the Arroyo Group, the North and South Ballcourts, and the palaces of Tajín Chico. There have been a total of 20 ballcourts discovered, with the last three found in 2013. Since the 1970s, El Tajín has been the most popular archaeological site in Veracruz, welcoming 386,406 visitors in 2017.


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