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Yucatán Hill Cities

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Celestial Home

Celestial Home
Photograph by Kenneth Garrett

Considered by some to be the most beautiful and majestic example of ancient American architecture, the House of the Governor at Uxmal probably served as its modern name implies—a royal palace for the city’s ninth–century ruler Chan Chak K’ak’nal Ahaw. Its facade, adorned with an intricate system of royal and religious icons set amid elegant geometric motifs, also contains numerous symbols of the planet Venus. This astronomical theme is reinforced by the orientation of the gigantic structure itself: Unlike all other buildings at Uxmal, the House of the Governor faces the precise point on the horizon where Venus, as Morning Star, reached its maximum southerly declination about a thousand years ago.

Camera: Nikon F5
Film Type: Fujichrome Velvia
Lens: Nikkor 17-35mm EDIF AFS Zoom
Speed and F-Stop: 1/30 @ f/8
Weather Conditions: Foggy
Time of Day: Sunrise
Lighting Techniques: Natural light

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