El Tajin, Pre-Hispanic City (1992)

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Located in the state of Veracruz, El Tajin was at its height from the early 9th to the early 13th century. It became the most important centre in north-east Mesoamerica after the fall of the Teotihuacan Empire. Its cultural influence extended all along the Gulf and penetrated into the Maya region and the high plateaux of central Mexico. 

Its architecture, which is unique in Mesoamerica, is characterized by elaborate carved reliefs on the columns and frieze. 

The 'Pyramid of the Niches', a masterpiece of ancient Mexican and American architecture, reveals the astronomical and symbolic significance of the buildings. El Tajin has survived as an outstanding example of the grandeur and importance of the pre-Hispanic cultures of Mexico. 

  • Mexico 1969. El Tajin. Pyramid of the Niches. 

Mexico 1969. El Tajin. Pyramid of the Niches.

Panama 1968. Pyramid of the Niches, Temple of the Totonacas, El Tajin. (Mexico).

The Tajin belongs to the Totonaca culture. It took shape during the late Classic period and reached its peak development during the transition to the Post-Classic, between 800 and 1150 A.D. The word Tajin means "The Sacred city of the Dead and of the Thunder in Storm".

The city was built in the Papanteca mountain range, and was maintained through the tributary relations that the surrounding towns bought with products and services. In return, the city managed the political and religious relations on behalf of the region.

  • Panama 1968. Pyramid of the Niches, Temple of the Totonacas, El Tajin. Scan by courtesy of Mr. Miomir Zivkovic (Serbia & Montenegro). 

The city was populated by the elite - rulers/leaders, politicians and religous figures, the major landholders as well as craftsmen, traders and minor commercial vendors.

Sources and links:

Other World Heritage sites in Mexico (on this website). Inactive links are not described on stamps. Please refer to the UNESCO-listing, Mexico-section, for further information about the individual properties. 

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Revised 08 aug 2006  
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