If there is a history and culture lover in you, you are bound to love Mexico City, a unique combination of a bustling metropolis and a world heritage city. One of the oldest American cities and the federal hot seat of the Mexican Republic, this city has a lot to offer for the culture lover. And it gets even better if you are looking to explore its rich Aztec history as it is one of those cities with the best Aztec connection. This ancient civilization was discovered and revealed to the Western society by the conquistadores that explored the monumental ruins looking for priceless treasures. For this reason, Aztecs became a symbol of mystery and charm and inspired great adventure movies and even slot games for those who are dreaming about finding the secret of their everlasting splendour. While there are many places to explore the Aztec history, the top 3 are Teotihuacan, Templo Mayor and the Zocalo, which is home to the ancient city ruins of Tenochtitlan.
Teotihuacan – City of the Gods
Known as the ‘City of the Gods’, Teotihuacan is an archaeological site located 40 kms from Mexico city. The Aztecs believed that the gods created this universe in this ancient city that once flourished as the epicenter of culture and commerce during Mesoamerica’s classic period.
Believed to the largest pre-Columbian city in the Americas, it is home to some of the largest ancient pyramids in the world. While there are many pyramids located in this area, the main pyramids here are the ‘Temple of the Moon’ and ‘The Temple of the Sun’. The Temple of Quetzalcoatl, decorated with manoy stone serpents is one of the most sacred temples in the complex. The museum at the park has outstanding displays and is worth a visit too. A unique way to experience this Aztec city is to see it from inside a hot air balloon early in the morning.
Templo Mayor – The Great Aztec Kingdom
Under the hustle and bustle of modern Mexico city lie the ruins of the pre-Hispanic Aztec capital, once known as Tenochtitlan. At the center of this ancient empire lies the Templo Mayor, the most religious area for the Aztecs. It is here that you can see sections of the two main religious temples (dedicated to the god of war and rain god), serpent carvings, pyramids and shrines. You can also see a ceremonial platform where ancient Aztec rituals were held. All the unearthed structures can be seen at the Templo Mayor museum, which houses clay pots, corals, figurines, urns, masks, skulls, obsidian knives and much more. The historic complex of the Templo Mayor and its museum are part of the UNESCO world heritage site and make for a stunning visit.
The historical heart of the city, the Zocalo is the largest square in Latin America and the third largest in the world after Moscow’s Red Square and Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. Once the main center of the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan, this is the heart of this busy city. It is here that you will discover pre-Hispanic ruins and pre-colonial buildings. Home to civic and cultural events, the Zocalo is a great place to study and interact with the local people as you will meet business executives, workers, fashionistas, vendors, buskers, Aztec dancers and many more. The National Palace is located here too at the very spot where the palace of the Aztec ruler Moctezuma once stood. The ideal way to explore the Zocalo is by weaving in and out of its ruins, its restaurants and by soaking in its rich life.