Templo Mayor (Great Temple) was the principal temple of the
Aztecs, believed to mark the centre of the universe. It was part of
the sacred complex of the ancient city of Tenochtitlan, and today
it has been excavated to show the multiple layers of construction,
viewed from a raised walkway with explanatory material available.
The temple was first built in 1375, and enlarged several times,
each rebuilding accompanied by a frenzied bloody sacrifice of
captured warriors to rededicate the sacred area. At the centre is a
platform on which stands a sacrificial stone in front of the shrine
to the tribal god, Huizilopochtli. Within the site is the excellent
Museo del Templo Mayor, a museum displaying artefacts from the
original site and providing an overview of Aztec civilisation. The
most important display is the first artefact to be discovered on
the site, the great wheel-like stone carving of the Aztec goddess
of the moon, Coyilxauhqui.
Address: Seminario 8, Historical District
Website: www.templomayor.inah.gob.mx (Spanish only)
Telephone: +52 55 4040 560
Transportation: Take metro to Zocalo. Templo Mayor is off Zocalo, to the
right of the city cathedral if you face it
Opening Time: Tuesday to Sunday 9am-5pm.
Admission: The museum charges a fee for adults, but children under
13 are free.