City of gods

Let’s go to Teotihuacan

Monday March 9, 2020

Only 11°C when I woke up at 2200m above sea level, the nights in Mexico are a bit chilly. 6 a.m., I take my little down jacket. On the program, visit the Teotihuacan site 50 km northeast of the capital.
One hour by bus to realize that Mexico City is indeed a huge city.
There are lots of colorful neighborhoods and lots of mountainside houses that defy the laws of gravity.

A perfect match with the landscape

The plain of Teotihuacan is bounded to the north by the Hidalgo mountains: one of them, the “Cerro Gordo” with gentle slopes is the ancient volcano whose lavas were used to build the pyramids which rise at its feet.
To the south, the plain stretches to the last foothills of the Sierra Nevada.
The shape of the pyramids fits perfectly into the mountainous circus that surrounds them.
I’m just struck by the very large dimension of these monuments.

The Sacred Avenue also called Avenue of the Dead, 4 km long and oriented north-south, is the main axis of the city.

The pyramid of Quetzalcoatl

Also called Temple of the Feathered Serpent.

It’s the most richly decorated monument.
Reptile heads spring from a feather collar and alternate with geometric-looking heads. I admire the very expressive sculptures with the bulging eyes of Quetzalcóatl: the feathered serpent god, venerated by all the Mesoamerican peoples (Toltecs, Mayas and Aztecs).

The Temple of the Feathered Serpent is the last of the large structures to be built in Teotihuacan.
It required the implementation of considerable resources: each snake head, fixed by a tenon, weighs no less than four tonnes. At the time of its splendor, these sculptures were painted (we can still guess some polychrome patches).

The pyramid of the sun

I look up at this huge pyramid wonderfully golden in the morning sun.
The Pyramid of the Sun is the most imposing building in Teotihuacan, it rises to 65m high.
This construction is extremely massive, at its feet, I feel very small, even very tiny.
By steep stairs carved in stone, I start climbing this dizzying wall.
After climbing these 265 steps – which are up to my knee – I finally arrive at the top. At the very top there is a feeling of infinity.

the pyramid of the moon

This pyramid is a little less impressive than its neighbor. On the other hand, it offers an exceptional point of view on the whole site allowing to note the immensity of Teotihuacan.
For a moment, I imagine myself as a warrior watching the slopes and the passages through which the enemies could enter …

The mysteries of Teotihuacan

Just a smal part of Teotihuacan has been excavated, Teotihuacan covers more than 30 km2 (one third of the area of ​​Paris) and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The city was discovered by the Aztecs in the 16th century who called it Teotihuacán, a Nahuatl word, which can be translated as “the city where men are transformed into gods”.
According to legend this is where the gods came together to create the Sun and the Moon. In thanks for so much generosity, Men built two temples commensurate with this divine power.
The city would have been built around 200 BC. AD and inhabited until its fall between life and VIIe centuries. Its population could be estimated at at least 150,000 inhabitants at its peak.
The reasons for the decline of Teotihuacan in the 7th century remain unknown. And no written or oral source exists. Because, unlike their Mayan neighbors, the Teotihuacans didn’t have writing. Historians are therefore reduced to hypotheses. So the exhaustion of the soil or a climate change could explain its disappearance. The only certainty: the city perished in flames.

Follow me on social media, share and write me from time to time, it could be worth more than what you can imagine …
… When you spend hours paddling and you’re on the other side of the worldembarassed

Follow me on social media, share and write me from time to time, it could be worth more than what you can imagine …
… When you spend hours paddling and you’re on the other side of the worldembarassed