El Tajin is an ancient Mayan city in the Mexican state of Veracruz, near the town of Papantlas. In the modern-day language of Totonac, Tajin means ‘city or place of thunder”. For that reason, it is now believed hat El Tajin was one of the names for the Totonac god of thunder, lightning, and rain.
El Tajin was at its height from the early 9th to the early 13th century. It became the most important center in north-east Mesoamerica after the fall of the Teotihuacan Empire. Its cultural influence extended all along the Gulf and penetrated into the Maya region and the high plateaus of central Mexico.
The ruins of Tajin are spread out over a large tract of land. Construction of ceremonial buildings began in the first century and peaked around 600 – 900 AD. Construction continued to about the start of the 13th century.
According to tradition, El Tajin was conquered and burned by Chichimec invaders in the 13th century. The site continued to be occupied after this by a smaller population, but tno new large construction projects were initiated. The site had been completely abandoned when Spanish conquistadors arrived in the early 16th century.
As a special treat for visitors, Los Voladores perform near the entrance to the ruins. Be sure to plan plenty of time so you can see them and enjoy the ruins.