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mexico: teotihuacán

So, to finally delve into Mexico, with the awe-inspiring archeological site of Teotihuacán, just north-east of Mexico City. Built by unknown predecessors of the Aztecs (who held it was founded by the Toltecs) in the first centuries of the first millennium, Teotihuacán was the largest city in the Americas and the capital of a vast empire.

Teotihuacan - 1

The city is dominated by the huge Pyramid of the Sun (third largest in the world) and the Pyramid of the Moon, both located on the main road, the Avenue of the Dead. Since the actual temples on top of the pyramids have been destroyed, it is unclear to which deities they were dedicated. There is a separate temple dedicated to Quetzalcoatl, the Feathered Serpent, who later became the principal god of the Aztecs.

Teotihuacan - 2

Teotihuacan - 3

Teotihuacán was abandoned and partly destroyed sometime in the seventh or eight century, and became a place of pilgrimage for the Aztecs, who also gave the city its name, which translates as City of the Gods (the original name is unknown). Today much of the site has been restored, though the southern part of the Avenue of the Dead is still unexplored.

To get a feel for the overwhelming size of the place, check Wikimapia's satellite view.

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