Templo Mayor

Mexico City, Mexico

Templo Mayor

9.4

The Templo Mayor (Spanish: Main Temple) was the main temple of the Mexica people in their capital city of Tenochtitlan, which is now Mexico City. Its architectural style belongs to the late Postclassic period of Mesoamerica. The temple was called the Huēyi Teōcalli [we:ˈi teoːˈkali] in the Nahuatl language. It was dedicated simultaneously to Huitzilopochtli, god of war, and Tlaloc, god of rain and agriculture, each of which had a shrine at the top of the pyramid with separate staircases. The spire in the center of the adjacent image was devoted to Quetzalcoatl in his form as the wind god, Ehecatl. The Great Temple devoted to Huitzilopochtli and Tlaloc, measuring approximately 100 by 80 m (328 by 262 ft) at its base, dominated the Sacred Precinct. Construction of the first temple began sometime after 1325, and it was rebuilt six times. The temple was destroyed by the Spanish in 1521 to make way for the new Mexico City cathedral.

The Zócalo, or main plaza of Mexico City today, was developed to the southwest of this archeological site, which is located in the block between Seminario and Justo Sierra streets. The site is part of the Historic Center of Mexico City, which was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1987. It received 801,942 visitors in 2017.

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