Pre-Hispanic City of Teotihuacan

An hour’s bus journey from Mexico City’s northern bus station (it has four, one for each compass direction) are the remains of this once huge holy city. Happily I bumped into two other English speaking women in the bus ticket queue (one British, one from New Zealand) so we travelled and visited the site together, which made my first Mexican bus journey far less anxious. Even so, on the way back, a security check of the bus occupants – men herded off to be frisked on the roadside, women’s bags checked on the bus and some also frisked – had me slightly worried as there is a tale on the Lonely Planet website’s forums of a bus robbery at gun point on this route that begins with one of these checks. Nothing untoward happened to us however, so on with the archaeology.

Teotihuacan: Avenue of the Dead

Teotihuacan: Avenue of the Dead

Teotihuacan was built between the 1st and 7th centuries AD and the visible remains are of temples and priestly residential areas all oriented around a long north-south central axis, the cheerily named Avenue of the Dead. Part way along this avenue is the huge Pyramid of the Sun. It is now somewhat shorted than its original height of 75m but it is still the highest in Mexico and really quite steep. I did make it to the top, but rather slower than the others and only kept going by my emergency stash of jelly beans.

Teotihuacan - Pyramid of the Sun

Teotihuacan - Pyramid of the Sun

The view from the top gives a slightly better view of one of the residential buildings than you can get on the ground.

Teotihuacan - looking down from the temple of the sun

Teotihuacan - looking down from the temple of the sun

 It seems that all of the walls (both inside and out) and pyramid sides were once covered in brightly painted murals on plaster, both abstract and figurative. One that is still in situ is this jaguar. There are more to be seen in the new and rather nicely designed museum of murals just outside the site.

Teotihuacan - mural in situ

Teotihuacan - mural in situ

At the top of the avenue is the Pyramid of the Moon, slightly smaller than that of the Sun and with a large open plaza in front of it. 

Teotihuacan - Pyramid of the Moon

Teotihuacan - Pyramid of the Moon

The museum on the site has an extensive scale model of the conjectured original city, here showing the north end with the two pyramids.

 

Teotihuacan - model in museum

Teotihuacan - model in museum

I only had enough bricks to build a low stepped platform in Lego, but it does at least have a staircase.

Lego Teotihuacan

Lego Teotihuacan

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