Loma del Tanque (Paraje del Palenque)

Here you’ll find travel reports about Loma del Tanque (Paraje del Palenque). Discover travel destinations in Mexico of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

6 travelers at this place:

  • Day6

    Our next meeting with indigenous cultures was at Monte Alban, just outside and above Oaxaca City. It was built high above to city to give it as much protection as possible as Monte Alban was a royal palace and sacred site of the Zapotec people who inhabited the place from about 500 B.C to about 700 A.D. when their civilisation fell or moved on. It fell into ruin for 200 years or so until another people, the Mixtecs moved in around 950 A.D. and there they remained until the arrival of the Spanish in 1521. The Mixtecs added nothing to the structures but did reuse some of the tombs for their own burials and this is some of the treasure that has been found. Unlike other native cultures, the Mixtec civilisation was allowed to continue as they allied themselves with the Spanish to help defeat other indigenous cultures, particularly the Mexicas of Mexico Tenochtitlan.

    The Place is on a fantastic scale. Unlike Teotihuacán, it doesn't have pyramids rather large platforms for the elite to look out over the site. It was a place of ceremony, conquest, sacrifice and royal life. It contains the ruins of a royal palace, a large public court to hold the dignitaries and officials, and a building they believe to be an observatory due to its east/west positioning.

    In the far right corner is a section that is now called the Gallery of the Dancers and Swimmers. The archaeologists who originally found the stones and frieses thought the figures carved on them were dancing or swimming. However, if you take more than a passing glance at them, you'll see what is actually happening. These are conquered warriors who have been ritually castrated before being sacrificed or left to die. The dancers are the castrated warriors and the swimmers are the dying ones. I know I'd be hopping around if I'd been castrated. Poor souls.

    We also saw a Royal ball court where the forerunner to football was played. As I mentioned in a previous post, this was less of a game and more a ceremonial rite of passage to decide who had the honour of being offered to the gods. Played with a 4kg solid rubber ball covered in leather, it was hit with the elbows, hips and feet to play the game. The rules are not known and there are variations of the shape, size and function of the court. Some have rings and targets, some not.

    The site also has a very instructive museum made even more interesting by our guide, Anna. This shows the customs and histories of the Zapotec people. What was even more interesting is that both the Zapotec and Mixtec languages are still spoken today and not just by a minority.

    On our return, we were given a free afternoon and urged to go then Museum of Oaxacan Cultures housed in the former monastery next to the Basilica of Santo Domingo we visited yesterday. Being that it was a former monastery, it was a warren of small rooms or cells that documented the area's people, formation and growth from prehistory to the current day. It had a lot of information on the Zapotecs as well as artefacts. Unfortunately, there were no descriptions in English so I had to do my best with my rudimentary Spanish. Nevertheless, I was particularly taken with the representation of a rat god in one of the showcases. Once the exhibit moved on to the post Hispanic period, they got very Christ-y and my interest waned. I'd still recommend a visit as it is a haven of quiet and relative cool from the bustle of the city.

    It also has an impressive botanical gardens surrounding it containing a huge variety of cacti, local plants and agave. It was closed to the public today but you did get a great view from many of the openings and courts of the museum.

    We then finished our day with the most wonderful meal at a restaurant called Los Danzantes. I won't go into any detail here as I've posted it on Instagram and FB but I thought I'd just post the picture just in case.

    We head off from Oaxaca tomorrow to reach a town calle Chiapa Do Corzo in a completely different state. We've been told to expect a long journey so we're not going to make it a late one.
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  • Day43

    Oaxaca City und Monte Albán

    February 18, 2017 in Mexico

    Oaxaca ist bekannt für Mexikos vielfältige Kultur. Das Essen, die Kleidung, die Tänze; alles hat Tradition. Wir haben uns hier richtig schön durchgeschlemmt und ich konnte meine Geschenkeliste etwas abarbeiten! Die Märkte in Oaxaca bieten sich dafür wirklich an.

    Monte Albán ist eine weitere alte Ruinenstadt in Mexiko. Diese ist sogar eine der größten, was wir nach drei Stunden umherlaufen bestätigen können!Read more

  • Day23

    Monte Albán

    November 28, 2015 in Mexico

    Mexiko's Ureinwohner - wie in dieser Gegend die Zapoteken - hatten bereits vor über tausenden von Jahren ein Wissen, das unsereins nur noch staunen lässt! Ihre imensen, stets genaustens durchdachten Bauten werden mehr und mehr wiedergefunden, restauriert und dem breiten Publikum freigegeben. Monte Albán liegt auf 2000m über Meer und rund 10km von Oaxaca entfernt. Es galt als religiöses Zentrum der Zapoteken und später der Mixteken, und wurde 1987 ins UNESCO-Weltkulturerbe aufgenommen.
    Wir hatten enormes Glück mit dem Wetter und waren fasziniert von der unglaublichen Grösse der Anlage und welche Überlegungen hinter den Platzierungen der einzelnen Bauten stecken.
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  • Day12

    Monte Albán, Mexiko

    November 30, 2016 in Mexico

    Mal wieder Zeit für etwas Kultur...
    Und da die archäologische Stätte Monte Albán nicht nur ums Eck liegt sondern auch einen fantastischen Ausblick auf das Tal von Oaxaca bietet, war das ein perfekter Ausflug für einen Mittwoch Morgen...
    Touristenfrei und noch halbwegs kühl

  • Day17

    Monte Albán photos

    December 15, 2015 in Mexico

    Here are a few more photos. While we werethere a large group approached Aleisha and asked her to take group photos while they sat on a huge flight of stone steps; she ended up with about 20 cameras (see first photo)!

  • Day17

    Oaxaca - Monte Albán

    December 15, 2015 in Mexico

    Paty and Marío Rubén took us up 400m high Monte Albán, a mountain just outside Oaxaca, site of a large and important pre-Colombian civilisation. The ruins date from 500BC-1000AD. The work involved in building it without machines or metal tools must been huge, even more so given the ambient heat (30°C) and lack of water (dry climate, nearest river 4km away). At some stage Mira started doing cart wheels.Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Loma del Tanque (Paraje del Palenque)

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