Historic Centre of Oaxaca and Archaeological Site of Monte Albán

It is only 200km from Tlacotalpan to the city of Oaxaca, but the journey comprises a two-hour bus ride up the river valley to Tuxtepec and then a seven hour journey across the mountains. The views are probably amazing, but we spend much of the time in the clouds. The mountains are covered in trees; jungle on the gulf side but changing to a more alpine-like forest past the summit.   

view from the bus between Tuxtepec and Oaxaca

view from the bus between Tuxtepec and Oaxaca

Oaxaca is pronounced wa-ha-ka: luckily I realised this before I tried to buy a bus ticket to oh-axe-aka. It is a another grid layout 16th century colonial town with many old buildings.

Oaxaca

Oaxaca

There is the usual array of churches, one of which has a very ornate interior:

Oaxaca

Oaxaca

Ten kilometres from the city centre and 500m above it, is the the other part of this world heritage site – the archaeological site of Monte Alban.

Monte Alban

Monte Alban

This was a city built by the Zapotecs and occupied between around 300BC and 1200AD. A great deal of terracing and landscaping was done on the hillside to create spaces for buildings and agriculture. Subsequently the Mixtec people used Monte Alban as a burial site.

Monte Alban - tomb

Monte Alban - tomb

At its height it is thought to have had a population of over 50,000 and UNESCO describes is at “probably the first urban civilization in the Americas”. I visited on a clear sunny day and standing on top of the high stepped platform at the south end of the large central plaza with the wind in my face was an exhilarating ‘perfect moment’.

Monte Alban

Monte Alban

The site has a large number of slabs carved with representations of naked men in contorted positions. Many are shown as having been emasculated. They are thought to represent the leaders of conquered tribes and they date from very early in the site’s history.

Monte Alban - carved stone image

Monte Alban - carved stone image

As usual, the challenge here for my Lego model was to find something I have enough parts to build; I’ve chosen the Temple of the Two Columns:

Monte Alban - Temple of the Two Columns

Monte Alban - Temple of the Two Columns

Which was really quite easy!

Lego Monte Alban - Temple of the Two Columns

Lego Monte Alban - Temple of the Two Columns

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Lego, UN World Heritage Site and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Historic Centre of Oaxaca and Archaeological Site of Monte Albán

  1. Martin Evans says:

    We’re all used to you sweating blood over making the Model Of The Day, and you assault our continued interest with this?!? Sorry, but the standard is slipping … it’s a tricky slope …wasn’t in my day … etc

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s