To think of Mexico City is to evoke its avenues full of light, movement and color, but also the architectural works that take us to other times. Such is the case of the “Templo Mayor”, Great Temple of Mexico or Huey Teocalli in Nahuatl, symbol of the Mexica Empire, a place where sacred offerings were gathered, deities were worshipped and the achievements of the Aztecs were celebrated in the face of their enemies.
¿What is the Templo Mayor ?
The Templo Mayor is an enclosure that has a series of pyramidal constructions known as towers, where the deities of the Mexica tradition were worshipped. This ceremonial center reproduced the worldview of the four directions of the universe that started from a center, which would be the fifth point. In the ancient city of Tenochtitlan, that fifth point was the Templo Mayor or Huey Teocalli, which consisted of a double pyramid at the top of which were the temples dedicated to the Gods of war and agriculture: Huitzilopochtli and Tlaloc, respectively.
In 1521 the troops of Hernán Cortés destroyed the Templo Mayor to its foundations, along with most of the city of Tenochtitlán as part of their military confrontation to conquer the territory that would later be known as New Spain.
Symbolically, the Templo Mayor was equivalent to the center of the city, but also of the Mexica worldview because it was believed that through it you could climb to celestial levels or descend to the underworld. Its destruction was equivalent to the fall of the Mexica Empire and the consequent ideological and religious imposition that would change the whole country´s living and way of thinking.
¿What can be seen in the Templo Mayor today?
Of the 78 documented constructions, currently only 50 are known although not all have been identified. When visiting the Mexica sacred space we can observe some vestiges of temple constructions of the city of Tenochtitlan; simulations of the temples dedicated to the Gods and the seven stages of construction.
In addition, in the Museum of the Templo Mayor there are up to ten thousand pieces from offerings discovered during archaeological excavations, distributed in eight rooms. We recommend the guided tour to learn about the history of this ancient city and part of its cosmogony.
¿Where is the Templo Mayor located?
This enclosure is located in Mexico City, on the west side of the Metropolitan Cathedral. You can also take the opportunity to visit the Historic Center and spend a spectacular day full of culture, fun and entertainment.
If you stay at Orchid House, a boutique hotel in Mexico City, you can get there by bike or car in just 30 minutes and learn about the incredible history of pre-Hispanic Mexico. Schedule your accommodation with us through the contact form and come and live an unforgettable experience.