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Teotihuacan Travel Information

The chief settlement of the Teotihuacan culture

Situated barely 40 km from Mexico City, this ancient sacred settlement is a real wonder of the pre-Hispanic world and a must for anyone visiting Mexico.

It was the chief settlement of the Teotihuacan culture, the first to emerge on the central plateau. It was also a major trade and religious center, where the sacrifices involved beautiful women whose hearts were cruelly torn away from their chests. Other civilizations followed in time: the Toltec and then the Aztec, who adopted it as the core of their religion. Its name in Nahualt tongue stands for "the place where men become gods". This urban settlement, at some point featuring 200 thousand inhabitants, is a expression of this culture´s social organization.

At present, only a section of what was once one of the greatest settlements on earth, can be visited. The ceremonial center consists of a central street named The Avenue of the Dead, along which the different buildings have been arranged. This avenue goes 4 kilometers long and allows for the observation of imposing constructions, such as The Sun´s and Moon´s Pyramids and The Citadel.

This ancient city, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987, constitutes Mexico´s chief archaeological attractions and welcomes thousands of visitors every year. A good suggestion is to arrive as early as possible at the site to avoid crowds that flood the place later in the day.

Teotihuacan Tours coming soon!

Ancient mask, stone-made handicraft

Attractions

The Citadel

At one end of the Avenue of the Dead, lies the Citadel, the market and the administrative center. The Spanish named it the Citadel, for they thought it to be a military base. Now it is known to have been the residence for the priests and Empire´s rulers.

 

Quetzalcoatl´s Temple

The Citadel harbors Quetzalcoatl´s Temple, the feathered serpent and chief god of this culture and the Aztecs. This god was also worshiped by the Toltecs and is even shown on the Mexican flag.

The Sun´s Pyramid

This is one of the largest pyramids standing to one side of the Avenue of the Dead. It is unknown whether the ancient Teotihuacans called it that way, but its present name comes from the fact that the sun sets over the pyramid until August 13th. Both pyramids were considered the priests´ connection to the under, earth and celestial worlds and they were the only ones allowed to climb to the top. These pyramids were also the venues for human sacrifices.

The Moon´s Pyramid

It rises on the opposite end of the Citadel on the Avenue of the Dead. Although somewhat smaller than that of the Sun, both pyramids´ tops lie at the same height, since the Moon´s stands on higher ground. A beautiful square surrounded by several smaller structures expands in front of this pyramid.

Quetzalpapálotl´s Palace

To the side of the Moon´s Square, this building treasures impressive sculptures and beautiful paintings. Also known as The Butterflies´ Palace, it is thought to have been the residence of the high priests.

Jaguars´ Palace

On the other flank of the Moon´s Square, its interior walls exhibit the remains of mural paintings in honour of the Jaguar, another of the idols worshiped by the Teotihuacans. There are also several figures dedicated to the worship of the god of rain.

The Sun´s Pyramid
Plumed Serpent Carving
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