Art and Decoration

Temple of the Frescoes

(OCR'd directly from my guide book!)

Because of its architectural features, sculptures and paintings, this building is thought to have had great social and religious importance. It was built in several stages; the first temple had a single chamber with an altar against the rear wall, murals on the facade, and a niche over the entrance containing a human figure with its head downward.
Later, the north, south and east sides were surrounded by a gallery with entrances formed by four columns,Various stucco figures decorate the three niches over the portico and the corners of the facade.
During a third stage the building was strengthened and part of the gallery was filled in with stone to support the upper temple. This has one room with a curved, vaulted roof containing a small altar, walls that slope outward, simple moldings and a niche over the entrance that holds the remains of a stucco figure.
The original temple contains mural paintings that were protected by the gallery. On a rectangular platform in front of the Temple of the Frescoes is stele number 2 of Tulum, which is carved with a human figure and in the top right-hand corner the sign of a year that has not yet been deciphered.

In each of the corners of the temple's facade there is a stucco mask of an old god with decoration round the eyes, a hooked nose, prominent chin and down-turned mouth. They possibly represent Chaac, the god of Rain, or perhaps Itzamna, the creator and giver of life.

Sorry, no fresco pictures, as the visitors were not allowed in on the day I went.

The Tour

All photos 1997 Scott Sakurai

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