The Cross Group is a complex of three temples designed by Palenque's ruler K'inich Kan Bahlam. Each temple is built at a different height, possibly corresponding to three different levels of the Maya universe: heaven, earth/surface of water and the underworld. Each temple is dedicated to one of the three patron gods of the Palenque dynasty – The Palenque Triad.
The Temple of the Foliated Cross is the second in the complex, both in height and in the sequence of the patron gods. It houses god G2, or Unen K’awiil (Infant K’awiil), the youngest of the triad. He is the god of lightning, agricultural fertility and manifestation of royal power.
Built on the mid-height ground the temple is associated with earth/surface of water (world of the living). Its decoration puts emphasis on water and agriculture. The now destroyed facade of the temple bore shells and the inner shrine decoration contains imagery of water and sprouting vegetation.