The West Plaza and Temple III
The West Plaza, or Plaza Oeste, lies north of Temple II. Its main features include the presence of a large Late Classic temple on its north end and the unrestored Temple III, across the Tozzer Causeway, to the southwest. Temple III, which is 60 meters high, gives you a good idea of what Tikal’s temples looked like to the early explorers when they were still covered in jungle vegetation. That’s about all you’ll be able to admire of it, as it is closed to visitors.
Some believe Temple III was built to honor the last of Tikal’s great rulers, Dark Sun, and he may in fact be the figure depicted in the structure’s badly eroded lintels. Behind the temple is a large palace complex. One of them, known as the Bat Palace, has been restored. It is also known as Palacio de las Ventanas.
© Al Argueta from Moon Guatemala, 3rd Edition. Photos © Al Argueta www.alargueta.com