At 12 metres, the Castle is the tallest structure in Tulum. It was constructed in stages and the first phase saw a low platform built with two stepped levels and a staircase to the west. This constituted the foundation for a palace featuring a portico of nine columns and three, long, parallel galleries. Later, the central portion of the structure was covered to raise up an additional storey, and the staircase needed to be lengthened. In the process, a vaulted passage (visible from the south) was left with a small enclosure that contains some frescoes and inscriptions.
The temple that crowns the Castle was planned during this later stage. It has two vaulted rooms with benches. Its facade to the west offers a portico with columns that form three entrances. These columns are carved in the shape of serpents, their heads at the base and the rattles working as capitals. A far better execution of this idea is seen in the Temple of the Jaguar that dominates the large ball court at Chichen Itza. The facade here has three niches,with the centre one containing the remains of, you guessed it, the Descending God. This view is from the northwest, and yes, that is the Temple of the Descending God mostly hidden to the left.
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