from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Location of Cempoala on the Gulf of Mexico

Cempoala (or Zempoala) was a Mesoamerican city ​​on the Gulf of Mexico that was founded around AD 1200. The name means "place of twenty waters". Cempoala developed into one of the largest cities in the region. Today the city in the Mexican state of Veracruz is abandoned and an archaeological site. It is located a few kilometers from the city of Veracruz .


The archaeological site as seen from a temple
View of the archaeological site of the former Cempoala

Cempoala was the capital of the Kingdom of Totonacapan. At its peak it was inhabited by around 25,000 to 30,000 people. The people of the Totonac , who lived on the Gulf Coast was founded by the Aztecs conquered and subjected. The Aztecs conquered Cempoala in 1463. From then on, the defeated Totonaks had to pay tribute to them .

When the Spaniards arrived in 1519, the Totonacs became Hernán Cortés' first allies . Quauhtlaebana, the "fat Kazike ", tried to consolidate this alliance by forcing Hernán Cortés to have his daughter as a woman.

In 1520 the battle between Hernán Cortés and Pánfilo de Narváez took place in Cempoala , who had come to arrest Cortés. Cortés won despite being numerically inferior. After the victory, he took command of his opponent's soldiers, which decisively improved his military chances in conquering the Aztec empire.

The inhabitants of Cempoala have been decimated by diseases that have been brought in. The city has been deserted since around 1600.

Archaeological site

The area that has been exposed to this day only makes up part of the entire complex. A special feature so far are the three different rings made of large rubble stones with their attached stepped columns (43, 28 and 13 columns). Scientists assume that these rings were used for astronomical measurements, for example to predict solar or lunar eclipses .

See also

Web links

Commons : Cempoala  - album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Bernal Díaz del Castillo : History of the Conquest of Mexico , 1988, p. 133.
  2. Hanns J. Prem : Die Azteken-Geschichte-Kultur-Religion , Verlag CH Beck, p. 109.
  3. Felix Hinz & Xavier López Medellín: In the footsteps of the Conquistadors after Tenochtitlán , 2002, ( online )
  4. ^ Zempoala , in: Meyers Enzyklopädisches Lexikon , 9th edition, 1971-79, Vol. 25, p. 667.