About Tenochtitlan

Tenochtitlan in Mexico was established on an island in Lake Texcoco in 1325 AD as the capital city of the Aztecs and, in its final and most prosperous days, was ruled by Motecuhzoma II, also known as Montezuma.

At its peak, Tenochtitlan was a thriving and imposing city with around 200,000 inhabitants. It was characterised by its enormous pyramids and clear street grids, dividing Tenochtitlan into four zones.

In 1519 AD, during Montezuma’s rule, Spanish invaders led by Hernán Cortés arrived in Tenochtitlan and by 1521 the city was conquered. Much of Tenochtitlan was subsequently razed to the ground, leaving little behind.

Today, remnants of Tenochtitlan are hard to find as they have been consumed by the development of modern Mexico City. Those Tenochtitlan sites which have been excavated, including five temples of which Templo Mayor is one, are protected on UNESCO’s World Heritage list, however there is no single Aztec site to visit.

One of the most popular Tenochtitlan sites is Xochimilco. This is more of a beautiful park rather than an archaeological ruin, but features waterways that ran from the Aztec era as well as some Chinampas (flower gardens) from that time. Alternatively, see the Templo Mayor entry for a more traditional site.

Related Places

Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza is a site made up of two impressive and well preserved cities, built by the Mayas and then captured by the Toltecs.

Explore

Teotihuacan

Teotihuacan is a well preserved ancient Mesoamerican city near Mexico City.

Explore

Templo Mayor

Templo Mayor was a holy temple in the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan, now modern day Mexico City.

Explore

Mexico National Museum of Anthropology

The Mexico National Museum of Anthropology is one of the world’s best renowned museums of pre-Hispanic history.

Explore

Comments (0)