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The Holy City of Teotihuacan, Mexico City (In Pictures)

The holy city of Teotihuacan ('the place where the gods were created') was a pre-Columbian Mesoamerican city located in the State of Mexico 30 miles northeast of modern-day Mexico City. It is characterized by the vast size of its monuments – in particular, the Temple of Quetzalcoatl and the Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon. The Pyramid of the Sun is the largest structure in the ancient city of Teotihuacan and one of the largest buildings of its kind on the Western Hemisphere.

At its zenith, perhaps in the first half of the 1st millennium AD, Teotihuacan (also written Teotihuacán) was the largest city in the pre-Columbian Americas. About 200,000 people are thought to have lived there between 100 and 700 A.D., making it one of the ancient world's largest cities with an urban core covering some twenty square kilometers.

It is believed that sometime during the mid-seventh century, certain sectors of the city, particularly around the Pyramids of the Sun and Moon, were repeatedly burned and sacked. The city never recovered from these attacks and the ethnic identity of Teotihuacan's inhabitants is not known.

Spaniards dug at Teotihuacan in the 1670s, but rigorous scientific excavation of the site did not begin until the 1950s. The main excavations, performed in the early 80s by Professors Saburo Sugiyama of Aichi Prefectural University in Japan and Rubén Cabrera, a Mexican archaeologist, have been at the Pyramid of the Moon. It was there, beneath layers of dirt and stone, that researchers realized the awe-inspiring craftsmanship of Teotihuacan's architects was matched by a cultural penchant for brutality and human and animal sacrifice.

Today, the ancient city of Teotihuacan is the most visited of Mexico’s archaeological sites and a must-see if you’re in Mexico City. Oh, and if you've been following my blog this week, Mrs. Perez and I just happened to be in Mexico City recently (check out the photographs from Zócalo and Museo Soumaya) and we just happened to visit Teotihuacán and I just happened (surprise) to bring along my camera and a few good lenses. Here are the photographs to prove it...enjoy.

Teotihuacan

Our arrival at Teotihuacán...

Teotihuacan

Mexico City

Face to face with the Pyramid of the Sun...

Teotihuacan

We begin our ascent up the 240+ steps of the Pyramid of the Sun...

Mexico City

As we go up, others come down...

Teotihuacan

Pyramid of the Sun

Mexico

Pyramid of the Sun

Teotihuacan

Visitors who make the climb to the top of Teotihuacán are rewarded with some spectacular views...

Pyramid of the Sun

The top of the Pyramid of the Sun...

Pyramid of the Sun

One last look out before Mrs. Perez and I begin our descent...

Mexico City

The descent...

Teotihuacan

Another view from the bottom...

Pyramid of the Sun

As we walk away from the Pyramid of the Sun, to our right stands the Pyramid of the Moon (too far away and too tired to make the trip over)

Pyramid of the Sun

The final climb of steps before heading back to the parking lot...

Hope you enjoyed the photographs - if you happen to find yourself in Mexico City, make sure a visit to the pyramids of Teotihuacán is on your agenda...

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