Not far away from Mexican capital city, within easy reach by buses leaving from the station Autobuses del Norte, there's a gem of ancient culture which once flourished in Mesoamerica like nothing else on the western hemisphere.
Monumental metropolis of Teotihuacan which has been on the list of World Heritage Sites since 1987 was "the place where men become gods". It was founded in the beginning of the Christian era and is one of the oldest archaeological sites in Mexico.
At its peak development it was the fifth biggest city of the ancient world (Constantinopole was the biggest) and the biggest on the western hemisphere with its 125 thousand people living on 20 square kms.
The Avenue of the Dead (Calzada de los Muertos) as viewed from the Pyramid of the Moon to the south, Teotihuacan, Mexico.
The city dominated and extended its influences beyond the region of middle Mesoamerica for some 500 years before being destroyed and abandoned. The former Aztecs, located not more than some 50 kms away in space and some 800 years in time after Teotihuacan, had known about their existence and used to organize pilgrimages to their previous site. The Aztecs believed that Teotihuacan was built by giants.
Walled blocks of residential dwellings, Teotihuacan, Mexico.
The central part of the city is the Avenue of the Dead (Calzada de los Muertos) which has the Pyramid of the Moon on its northern end, the Pyramid of the Sun in middle of it and the complex called The Citadel with the Temple of Quetzalcoatl (Feathered Serpent) on its southern end. Close to the Pyramid of the Moon there's the Quetzalpapalotl Palace Complex uncovered in 1962 and reconstructed.
The backside of the Quetzalpapalotl Complex and unearthed residential dwellings with vendors stalls with local art, Teotihuacan, Mexico.
The city's palaces, pyramids, architecture and art attest to its magnificence while telling not much about the people who lived there. There's very few facts known about where they had come from, how they lived and what caused their final collapse. This was the culture that didn't leave any signs of their life in any form of writing.
The central part of the Quetzalpapalotl Complex,Teotihuacan, Mexico.
The most prominent feature of the city is the Pyramid of the Sun which was built on the system of caves discovered some 40 years ago. There's now an ongoing process to dig under the pyramid to find out what can be unearthed beneath. The pyramid is 65 metres tall and the completely stunning fact is that its square side length of 225 metres is of the same length what the Great Pyramid of Egypt has had.
Western side of the Piramide del Sol (Pyramid of the Sun), Teotihuacan, Mexico.
Along the Avenue of the Dead there were hundreds of residential dwellings constructed with walled blocks where people had lived; all placed along the lines of urban grid. There's little known about people's life which is quite a big mystery of the entire place. Mostly they created the things for the purpose of war and conquest. The most famous objects of war they made were knives of local obsidian (volcanic glass). They were also famous for fine ceramic objects created with brown clay.
The Quetzalpapalotl Palace Complex, that may have served as local art gallery, was built in 2nd century AD on top of the Temple of Feathered Conches. It has very well preserved colourful murals in the Jaguar Palace.
This archaeological treasure, located close to Mexico City, is a popular tourist destination to many tourists who visit the capital city and it's a very convenient addition to collection of artistic adventures that a visitor can get.