Templo Mayor

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Model of the temple with details of the various stages of construction
Chak-Mo'ol figure in Huitzilopochtli Temple, phase 2, during the excavations
Excavated remains of the great temple with cathedral in the background (state 2008)

The Templo Mayor ( Spanish ) or Huēy Teōcalli ( nahuatl , "Great Temple"; also Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlán ) was the most important and largest temple of the Aztec capital Tenochtitlán , today's Mexico City .


The temple, located in the holy district of the city, was around 60 meters high. On its top it carried two shrines dedicated to the gods Huitzilopochtli and Tlaloc . Numerous smaller platforms and structures connected to the temple formed a closed building complex with it. One of the platforms leading to the temple was decorated with a stucco relief depicting a tzompantli , a kind of frame made of human skulls.


The Templo Mayor has been enlarged several times, for the last time in 1487 before it was destroyed. At the four-day celebration of his renewed dedication probably several thousand people were sacrificed.

During the Spanish conquest of Mexico , the Spaniards killed between six hundred and eight to ten thousand people in the courtyard of the temple, among them mostly unarmed nobles and priests who had gathered there for a procession. After the conquest itself, the temple was destroyed by the Spanish in 1521.


Despite the almost complete destruction, the team of the Mexican archaeologist Eduardo Matos Moctezuma was able to uncover a four-tier substructure of the temple in 1978. Matos ascribes not only religious but also political importance to the temple due to the reliefs and sculptures he discovered.

See also


Web links

Commons : Templo Mayor  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ El Templo Mayor (Federal District) . México Desconocido . Retrieved March 23, 2011
  2. Geoffrey Parker (Ed.): The Times - Great Illustrated World History . Verlag Orac, Vienna 1995, p. 268
  3. Geoffrey Parker (Ed.): The Times - Great Illustrated World History . Verlag Orac, Vienna 1995, p. 271
  4. Robert Cowley (Ed.): What If? Turning points in world history . Knaur Verlag, Munich 2000, p. 153
  5. ^ Paul G. Bahn: Sunken Cities . Bechtermünz-Verlag, Augsburg 1998, p. 192. ISBN 3-8289-0715-6

Coordinates: 19 ° 26 ′ 6 ″  N , 99 ° 7 ′ 53 ″  W.