Palaces & Temples Illustration

Maya Empire for Kids
Palaces & Temples


The Maya were a class society. The nobles and the priests were the highest class.

Each city had a palace that housed the city ruler. Places were multi-storied buildings. The rulers lesser relatives had homes of their own, or lived in the palace. The palace buildings were built around an open area or central courtyard. Plus some homes within the palace grounds had private gardens. That gave the nobles a place to get outside that was private. In their own garden, they did not need a servant to hold a cloth in front of their face, as they did when they went out in public.

Each city had a temple. The temple was a place of worship and a home for the city's priests. The temples also had a central courtyard, where the priests could find some privacy. Pyramids were tombs. Temples were homes. But temples often had pyramid shapes. Like the pyramids, some temples had a flat surface on top where ceremonies could be held. The Maya were deeply religious. Temples were busy places. Priests held great power.

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