The great Aztec city of Tenochtitlan –

In Overstory we are now talking about one of the most representative cities of the Aztec culture as we explain the history of the great Aztec city of Tenochtitlán.

The great Aztec city of Technoctilán

When the conquerors arrived in 1519, the city of Tenochtitlan had about 150,000 inhabitants and surpassed in extension and urban planning any European city of the time.

During the second half of the fifteenth century, Tenochtitlan It was the most powerful city in Mesoamerica and the Caribbean, with an area that reached 14 km2. with shaft in ceremony center From the sacred precinct, the city expanded concentrically according to how the different social classes related to that religious center.

In the environment near the sacred precinct the houses of the nobles were built; beyond, that of administrators and artisans and, on the outskirts, a dispersed rural population.

However, the separation between the countryside and the city, between the rural and the urban, was not as radical as it is today in industrial cities. On the contrary, there was a gradual decline in urban infrastructure and a progressive increase in those corresponding to the countryside and agricultural activity.

It is known that the ceremonial epicenter grouped no less than 78 buildings, of which, today thanks to excavations, the Main temple and some more buildings that underlie the Cathedral.

This sacred precinct was located in the center of Tenochtitlan, and had a length of 350 x 300 meters. The entire ceremonial center was surrounded by a wall called coatepantliwhich was decorated with figures of snakes and was about 2.5 meters high.

The Main temple It was the largest building within the sacred precinct, and reached 42 meters in height, which was reached through a staircase of 114 steps, located in the front part of the temple. on top of the Main templethere were also two ritual temples for sacrifices: one dedicated to Tlaloc and another to Huitzilopochtli.

But Main temple It was not the only religious building within the sacred precinct, which was completely covered in clay, which gave it a reddish appearance compared to the rest of the city, whose streets were made of dirt. inside there was priest schools (designed for the sons of the nobles to learn theology and astronomy) and skull deposits (an ossuary full of lances in whose tip the skulls of those defeated in combat immolated in sacrifices were nailed).

In addition, in the sacred precinct were the temple of Quetzacoatl (which presented a conical pyramid so that the air circulated with greater sonority in order to pay tribute to the god of the wind), and the Sun Temple (where the famous solar calendar, axis of the Aztec cosmogony, was facing the sky).

The need to carry out rites very frequently (due to inclement weather and the proliferation of priests) meant that a total of 25 pyramid temples. With this geometric shape (very traditional in Mesoamerica) they emulated the mountains, symbol of the ascent to heaven.

The aztecs they built Tenochtitlan (which means the divine tunal where it is Mexitlianother name for Huitzilopochtlithe son of the Sun and the Moon) on the central islet of Lake Texcoco. A network of canals and bridges linked the remaining islands, so the capital was actually made up of six cities.

Roads, aqueducts, and chinampas, artificial islets made with vegetation of the lake, mud and roots. At first the chinampas it was farmland; later, houses were added and connected with bridges, like Venice.

It all went wild looted and plundered by the Spanish conquistadors led by Hernán Cortés, who dealt the final blow to the resistance of Tenochtitlan the sad night of August 13, 1521.