Chichen, Or Chichen Itza, an ancient city of Mexico, in the state and peninsula of Yucatan, about 35 m. S. W. of Valladolid; lat. 20° 15' N., lon. 88° 30' W. Notwithstanding the appearance of great antiquity of these ruins, which are perhaps the most remarkable in all Yucatan, they are in a better state of preservation than any others; but they have the distinguishing feature common to all of them, namely, the impossibility of ascertaining the purpose or uses of the extraordinary structures which still stand in testimony of the high degree of civilization of a people long since forgotten. According to Stephens, the most curious and at the same time the most incomprehensible ruins he had met with were a series of columns at Chichcn, the highest of which do not exceed 6 ft., so disposed as to form a vast parallelogram, each row being 3, 4, and 5 ft. deep from the outside to the enclosed space within. In the immediate vicinity of the area comprised within these pillars is the castillo or castle, rising from the same plane, and occupying the top of a lofty pyramidal mound which measures at its base on the N and S. side 196 ft., and on the E. and W. side 202 ft., and is 75 ft. in height.
The four sides of the building itself measure 43 and 49 ft. respectively in the same directions as the mound.