Templo Mayor

The Templo Mayor is a temple of the Aztecs. It is located in the capital city of the Aztecs, Tenochtitlan. Tenochtitlan is also present day Mexico City. In 1521 the Spanish conquistadors destroyed the temple. Today the archeological site is in the main plaza of Mexico City.

                Construction of the temple began sometime after the year 1325. After being built in 1325 the temple was rebuilt six times. This means that it was just improved upon and made better. The pyramid was made up of four sloped sides and topped by a large platform. The platform, known as the great platform was measured to be 80 meters by 100 meters.  The pyramid had two stairways that allowed access to the two shrines on top of the great platform. The two shrines on the platform were approximately 30 meters in tall.

                One of the shrines on the temple was for Tlaloc, the god of water. The other was a shrine for Huitzilopochtli, the god of war. Each shrine had sacred fires that burned continuously. The deities were kept inside the temple and were shielded from the outside by curtains. The stairs leading up to the shrines were only used by priests and sacrificial victims.

                The Templo Mayor was a very symbolic temple. The temple represents the Hill of Coatepec, where it is believed that Huitzilopochtli was born. When Huitzilopochtli was born it is said that he was born fully grown and armed to battle his sister who was planning to kill him and his mother. Huitzilopochtli won the battle and dismembered his sister. The temple also had many serpents and serpent heads on it.

                Based on historical records the Templo Mayor was the largest and most active temple. After the city was taken over by the Spaniards in 1521 Cortes ordered for a cross to be placed on the Templo Mayor. The Spanish then massacred many Aztecs so the Aztecs rebelled and captured many soldiers that they then sacrificed at the Great Temple. After the fall of Tenochtitlan nearly all the temples were destroyed including Templo Mayor

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