Pacal saw expansion of Palenque's power in the western part of the Maya states, and initiated a building program at his capital that produced some of Maya civilization's finest art and architecture.
He was preceded as ruler of Palenque by his mother Lady Zac-Kuk. As the Palenque dynasty seems to have had Queens only when there was no eligible male heir, Zac-Kuk transfered rulership to her son upon his official maturity.
After his death Pacal II was succeeded by his son Chan Bahlum II. A younger son, Kan Xul II, succeeded his brother Chan Bahlum II.
After his death, Pacal the Great was worshiped as a god, and said to communicate with his descendants. His elaborate temple tomb had a stairway down to his crypt, and after this was sealed up it had a long "speaking tube" connected to the temple atop the step-pyramid.