Art and Decoration - Temple of the Frescoes
Because of its architectural features, sculptures and paintings, this building is thought to have had great social and religious importance. It was built in several stages; the first temple had a single chamber with an altar against the rear wall, murals on the facade, and a niche over the entrance containing a human figure with its head downward.
Later, the north, south and east sides were surrounded by a gallery with entrances formed by four columns,Various stucco figures decorate the three niches over the portico and the corners of the facade.
During a third stage the building was strengthened and part of the gallery was filled in with stone to support the upper temple. This has one room with a curved, vaulted roof containing a small altar, walls that slope outward, simple moldings and a niche over the entrance that holds the remains of a stucco figure.
The original temple contains mural paintings that were protected by the gallery. On a rectangular platform in front of the Temple of the Frescoes is stele number 2 of Tulum, which is carved with a human figure and in the top right-hand corner the sign of a year that has not yet been deciphered.
In each of the corners of the temple's facade there is a stucco mask of an old god with decoration round the eyes, a hooked nose, prominent chin and down-turned mouth. They possibly represent Chaac, the god of Rain, or perhaps Itzamna, the creator and giver of life.