Teotihuacán, which means in Aztec "place where the gods were born" is located some 50 km (31 mi) north east of the Mexico city centre. With an extension of 20 sq km (7 sq mi), Teotihuacán was Mexico's biggest ancient city, with possibly around 250,000 people at its peak, and one of the largest cities in the world. The city was built between 150 AD and 600 AD, reaching its zenith in the 6th century. Most of the city consisted of residential structures of about 50 or 60 metres square (1.9 sq mi), where the nobility or priests resided.
The impressive main axis of Avenida de los Muertos (Avenue of the Dead) runs from north to south of Teotihuacán and it is 4 km- long (2 ½ mi-long). The Aztecs gave it this name because they believed the great buildings lining it were vast tombs, built by giants for Teotihuacán's first rules. The Pirámide de la Luna (Pyramid of the Moon) occupies the northern end of the avenue. On the east side of this main axis, in the center lies the outstanding Pirámide del Sol (Pyramide of the Sun) with a base almost equal to the pyramid of Cheops in Egypt. This is the oldest structure of the site, which was constructed in relation to the movement of the sun. It is worth to climb the 248 steps of this pyramid, to enjoy the magnificent and spectacular view of the entire city.
On the southern end of Avenida de los Muertos remains the large square complex called La Ciudadela (The Citadel). This was the residence of the city's supreme ruler and included 15 pyramides, amongst them the Templo de Quetzacóatl (Temple of the Plumet Serpent) and Tlaloc (Rain God). Both, Quetzacóatl and Tlaloc together represent the fusion between the earth and the sky. On the west side of the Ciudadela plaza, and next to the Pyramid of the Moon, reside the Palacio de Quetzalpápalotl (Palace of the Plumed Butterfly), Palacio de los Jaguares (Palace of Jaguars) and Templo de las Conchas Emplumadas (Temple of Plumed Conch Shells). Teotihuacán is open daily from 8 am to 5 pm, but visitors can stay until sunset. Admission: 2.5 USD, free on Sunday.
Mexico Regional Landmarks
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