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Pyramids Templo Mayor (Distrito Federal)

According to an old legend, the Aztecs built their ancient capital on a very special place. A place, where an eagle sits on a nopal (cactus) while eating a snake. The pilgrims found such a place on a small island in the middle of a huge lake surrounded by volcanoes. Here the main temple, Templo Mayor, was raised and with it the centre of Aztec power, the city of Tenochtitlán which now lies buried forever under todays Mexico City.

Construction of the first Templo Mayor began around 1325 and was then rebuilt 6 more times. It was a double pyramid, with two separate stairs and two temples, one dedicated to the god of sun and war “Huitzilopochtli”, the other to the god of rain “Tláloc”. Only the high priests and victims of blood sacrifices had the honor to climb these stairs.

While the first temple was built from just mud and wood, the final was from stone, decorated and reached the high of 60 meters. Each emperor wanted to ad his own touch, each emperor reconstructed a part of Tenochtitlán.
Untill, August 13, 1521 the city of Tenochtitlán was destructed in blood and fire by Cortéz and the Spanish who then, on its ruins, started to built the New Spain.What survived of the glory of Tenochtitlán can now be seen next to the Catedral on the main square Zócalo. It is thought just a fragment of what once was the great Aztec empire. The lake and most of the water canals disappeared as well under the growing monster of Mexico City. Some of them can still be seen in Xochimilco.

The site counts with a very good museum where two very important pieces can be seen, the monolith of lunar goddess “Coyolxauhqui” and the twelve tone monolith of “Tlaltecuhtli”, the goddess of earth.

Opens: Tuesday to Sunday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. 51 pesos.

What here:  
How to get here: The ruins of Templo Mayor are in the very center of Mexico City, behind the catedral on the main square Zócalo.