Pyramids of Teopanzolco

View of the Great Platform, which once supported the twin temples of Tlaloc and Huitzilopochtli

Tuesday and more walking. This time I was in search of the the pyramids of Teopanzolco. Located just east of downtown Cuernavaca the pyramids of Teopanzolco are surrounded by a mainly residential area. The name itself means the place of the old temple. Apart from myself the site was entirely empty which gave me the opportunity to explore at leisure.

The main buildings, constructed bases and platforms on which temples were erected are all arranged around a central plaza. The largest pyramid is actually two pyramids, one inside the other supporting the twin temples of Tlaloc and Huitzilopochtli. You can climb the double staircase of the outer one and from the top you can see the older pyramid within. Incidentally it would seem that the aztecs had rather small feet so caution should be exercised when climbing the steps if you wear anything larger than a UK size 8.

Behind the main pyramid is a smaller single pyramid which has fared less well and is believed to have been built for worship to Tezcatlipoca, the lord of fire and death.

Across the plaza from the main pyramid is a row of low stone platforms that were bases for altars. Apparently excavations in one of these turned up a mass sacrificial burial consisting of skulls from decapitated individuals and offerings of pottery vessels and other items.

The site dates from approx 1250 to 1521 AD and was then left discarded for nearly four hundred years only to be rediscovered in 1910 following fighting between government troops and Zapata-led rebels, when traces of a wall were left uncovered by an exploding shell.

If you are staying in the Cuernavaca area  then the pyramids of Teopanzolco should be on your list of places to see and are well worth the visit.

Remains of a number of other buildings
View of the inner pyramid within the Great Platform
The temple of Tezcatlipoca
The Great Platform and other ruins

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