The secrets of Teotihuacán

Last month we posted on our Instagram a photo of Teotihuacán, we received many questions and comments about this great place and that's why we decided to write and tell you a little more about this impressive place:

1. The word <Teotihuacán> comes from the Nahuatl language and means "place where the gods were created " or "City of the Gods."

2. Teotihuacán is the name given to what was one of the largest cities in Mesoamerica during pre-Hispanic times. However, to date it is unknown what its inhabitants called it! It is known that it was the Mexica culture that when arrived at this place -already abandoned- were amazed with the magnitude and beauty of the city so they thought that only the gods could build something like this, hence the name.

Archaeological site of Teotihucan

3. In its moment of greatest splendor it was the seat of power of one of the most influential Mesoamerican societies, it reached 22 square kilometers in length and was also one of the largest urban centers in the ancient world, concentrating a population greater than 100,000 inhabitants.

4. Its most important buildings are found on the Los Muertos road (Calzada de los Muertos), among which are the Sun and Moon pyramids, the Citadel, the West and La Ventilla complexes, the Great Complex and the Palaces of Tetitla, Atetelco, Tepantitla, Yatahuala and Zacuala.

5. The Pyramid of the Sun is very similar to the Egyptian pyramid of Cheops (with 225 meters per side, the base of the Mexican pyramid is only 1.03 times smaller than the one in Egypt, in addition its triangular structure is very similar), so it has given rise to numerous theories. However, it bears no relationship either to Egypt or to any other civilization. What is certain is that this pyramid served as an essential site for astronomical observation.

6. It is recognized as one of the most outstanding testimonies of ancient urban planning and state development. In fact, the Teotihuacan population lived in housing complexes (like the one in the photo below), it is believed that between 200 and 2,200 of these complexes existed, in which between 60 and 100 people lived in each one. Less than 10% of the population lived in shacks.

Ancient housing complex of Teotihucan

7. To date, the reasons for its abandonment are unknown, it is believed that it could be due to social differences, bad harvests or loss of commercial influence.

8. The Pre-Hispanic City of Teotihuacán is the most visited archaeological site in Mexico, the first time the area was opened to the public was in 1910 and since 1987 it has been on the UNESCO World Heritage list (the first site in the country with this title). The area open to the public has an extension of 264 hectares and it is estimated that the archaeological site that we know only covers 5% of the entirety of Teotihuacán!

9. If you want to see what this city looked like 1,500 years ago, take a look at the work of the Spanish architect David Romero. In his project "Hooked on the Past" he uses 3D technology to transport us to another era and allow us to visit monuments of the past.

Pyramid of the sun with colors "Hooked on the past" project

10. This majestic city continues to be an object of interest for researchers from Mexico and the world. To date, research and studies on this place continue, so budgetary and follow-up support is important for the conservation and restoration of the Mexican heritage.

If you were intrigued by this place, we invite you not to miss it on your next visit to Mexico, in the meantime you can make a virtual visit by clicking here.

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