About 50km to the northeast of central Mexico City lies one of the greatest archaeological marvels in Mexico and its largest ancient city - Teotihuacan. At its peak in the 6th century AD, more than 150,000 people lived in this great city of 24 square kilometres, many of them involved in mining obsidian.
Then, sometime in the 7th century it declined, was plundered and finally abandoned. However, the later Toltecs and Aztecs still revered the sacred site. The Aztecs named it Teotihuacan, which means 'the place where the gods were born' (the city's original name is not known), and thought that the gods created the universe from here.
The city was arranged around the Avenida de los Muertos, a long, central thoroughfare which now serves as the main road for tourists and itinerant vendors. The less popular routes through the ruins afford a more tranquil course and time for contemplation.
Prim buildings include the Piramide del Sol (Pyramid of the Sun), the worlds third larges pyramid at 70m high, with a 248-step access to the spectacular views at the top; the beautifully proportioned Piramide de la Luna, situated at the northern end of the axis; the nearby Palacio del Quetzalpapalotl; the Palacio de los Jaguares, with its jaguar murals; the Templo de las Conchas Plumadas, so called for the flower and feather decorations on its facade; and the Ciudadela, a large sunken plaza containing buildings such as the Templo de Quetzalcoatl, also known as the Pyramid of the Feathered Serpent, with its marvellous and well-preserved carvings. The site can be scorchingly hot, especially at midday, so a hat and bottle of water are essential.
For more information about the Pyramid of the Sun visit http://www.guidedtourmexico.com/pyramidofthesun.html
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