The Aztecs were a tribe of people who lived in Mexico between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries. While the Aztec Empire died out long ago, this ancient civilization has left behind a rich store of mythology and history, and the ruins of several ancient cities can still be seen in Mexico today, including the Aztec capital city, Tenochtitlan. Tenochtitlan, the ancient Aztec City, are the most famous ruins in Mexico City and a world famous archeological attraction. When you visit the ruins, there are two structures which will immediately capture your attention – the Great Temple, and the House of the Eagles. These two buildings are the most well-preserved, and even though they were constructed over five hundred years ago, painted stone carvings inside the House of the Eagles can still be seen. Tlatelolco, also located in Mexico City, is a district which was once an independent Aztec city, but eventually became part of Tenochtitlan as the capital expanded. The ruins here are now part of the Plaza de las Tres Culturas (The Square of the Three Cultures), and contain the remains of several Aztec structures, including a pyramid and a temple. No visit to the ruins of Tenochtitlan is complete without stopping by the Museo del Templo Mayor, a museum located in the Historical District of downtown Mexico City. The museum houses many artifacts discovered within the ruins of the city, as well as maps and models of structures within the city itself. The ruins of Xochicalco in Morelos, a tiny state south-east of Mexico City, are located just 38 kilometers from the city of Cuernavaca, making a visit to these ruins a convenient trip. Unlike the ruins of Tenochtitlan, the site at Xochicalco has not been built over, so here it is possible to walk around the ruins and imagine the city as it once was. The site Xochicalco contains the remains of temples, pyramids and ball-courts where the Aztecs played a game called ollama. One of the most interesting of these is the Pyramid of the Feathered Serpent, a carved stone monument which is thought to be connected to the god Quetzalcoatl. The site is open to visitors every day, and includes a small museum where artifacts from the city are displayed.
Aztec Ruins around Mexico City