Labná’s impressive main palace is the first structure you come to after passing through the ticket area.
As the plaque there explains, the structure underwent at least 12 different constructions, and has 67 rooms distributed over two main levels and seven patios. It stretches 135 meters (443 feet) and stands on an even larger artificial platform.
The west end (left, as you face it) probably housed Labná’s ruling family, while the east side contained metates(stones used for grinding corn) and was therefore most likely used by their servants.
Take time to appreciate the palace’s fantastic frieze. Many familiar elements have been embellished here: the noses and eyes of the Chac masks are turned upward as if peering into the sky, and the latticework is more complex than simple x-patterns seen elsewhere.
On one corner, right of the central stairs, a human face can be seen emerging from the mouth of a feathered snake. It seems to have been a late modification: notice how the hooked nose of the prior mask was turned around to make room for the snake’s gaping mouth.
Some argue the presence of the plumed snake—shown here “giving birth” to the man emerging from its mouth—suggests strong influence from Central Mexico, where the Quetzalcoatl (aka Kukulcán), the feathered snake, was widely worshipped.
© Gary Chandler & Liza Prado from Moon Yucatán Peninsula, 9th edition