Translated from Nahuatle, Teotihuacan means "City of Gods" and is one of the most significant sites of the Aztecs in Mexico. An old legend says that the gods created the universe right from this place. Until today many secrets of this city are still unsolved. Teotihuacán is one of the most visited sites of the country.
The history of the Teotihuacán ruins
The city was founded approx. 100 b.C. and was inhabited by about 200.000 people in its prime-age. This means, it was the biggest city of the entire American continent and the economic, military and cultural center of America.
Due to overpopulation and few resources, the inhabitants left the city until it was completely abandoned in 750.
At the arrival of the Aztecs the city was already abandoned for some century and equaled a ruin. The Aztecs gave the city its name.
Since the conquest of the Spanish in the 16th century, archeological excavations begun but they destroyed many documents and manuscripts, which makes it hard to recontruct the history of the city. Most results are based on interpretations of the finds.
Tourist attraction in Teotihuacán
Teotihuacán consists of a total of 15 cleared pyramids. The sun- and moon-pyramid (with a height of 65m and 45m) are the biggest and most famous ones. The 239 steps, that lead up to the sun-pyramid are exhausting but once you made it to the top, you are rewarded with a great view on the surrounding area. Exactly in the middle of the city you can find the "street of the deads", that crosses the entire city. The moon-pyramid is located on the northern end of this street. From the top of this one you have a great view over Teotihuacán.
In the south of the "street of the deads" you can find the Ciudadela, where the rulers of the city once lived. In 1968 scientists found a hidde cave under the pyramid. They found items from the times of the Aztecs, that gave them much information about the history of the city. These items are now in the Museum for Anthropology in Mexico-City.
All pyramids offer impressive carvings and displays of the past.
The site was declared as UNESCO world heritage in 1987. Since 2016 visitors can watch a light show everyday after sunset. Pictures are projected on the sun-pyramid, that are telling the stroy of the city.
The sun pyramid is the third biggest of the world, only the Cheops-Pyramid in Egypt and the Cholula-Pyramid in Puebla (also in Mexico) are bigger.
During archaeological excavations scientists found numerous sepultures on the whole compound. All of them had different oblations.
More information about the country and the people of Mexico you can find here.