The Great Temple, known as Templo Mayor in Spanish, was the sacred ceremonial center of Mexico-Tenochtitlan, built in the vicinity where the nomadic Aztecs first saw an eagle perched on a cactus with a snake in its beak – a sign given to them by their warrior God indicating where they should settle. Amazingly, the original ruins of this prehispanic site have been rescued and survive to the backdrop of bustling downtown Mexico City. The magnificent on-site museum displays a wide array of artifacts including impressive examples of sculptures, pottery, jewelry, hand-crafted tools and ceremonial objects discovered during ongoing excavations.
We will walk through several layers of the exposed pyramids to explain how pyramids were constructed and visit the impressive museum which replicates the dualistic Mexica vision of the world. The stellar piece – a must-see – is the original stone carving of the moon goddess Coyolxauhqui. The more recent discovery of yet another monolith, the 12 ton rock sculpture of Earth Goddess Tlaltecuhtli, was added to the permanent collection in 2010 is also on view.
We will spend approximately 3 hours at the archaeological site and museum, giving you a comprehensive overview of prehispanic Mexico and the people who established themselves here.