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Teotihuacan, Mexico

The mystical pre-Colombian Mesoamerican city of Teotihuacan (meaning ‘the place where the gods were created’) is just one of the many exhilarating historical and cultural attractions to be seen on Titan’s magical Mexico’s Mayan Trail tour.

The spectacular ruins of plazas, temples and palaces are a breathtaking sight covering an area of 8 square miles. Architectural highlights of the city include the expansive Avenue of the Dead, which takes you between ancient residences to the largest pyramid in the western hemisphere - the monumental Pyramid of the Sun - and its nearest competitor - the Pyramid of the Moon. The Great Compound and the mighty deity-decorated  Temple of Quetzalcoatl (also known as the Temple of the Plumed Serpent) are also admirable. It’s impressive to think of their creation, with millions of tonnes of stone moved and shaped by hand.

Teotihuacan is thought to have been founded around 100 BC, and was at its zenith between the 1st and 7th centuries AD, when it was home to a population of maybe 150,000 people - one of the world’s largest settlements of the time. While some scholars suggest the Totonac, Nahua or Otomi ethnic groups are the most likely to have settled there, other scholars suggest that Teotihuacan was a multi-ethnic state. All agree that the inhabitants of Teotihuacan influenced the Aztec and Mayan civilisations.

The city was burned and abandoned in the 7th century, yet the ruins still give an impressive insight into the culture and religion of the people. Since its initial excavation in 1884, anthropologists, historians and travellers have marvelled at the complex residential compounds constructed within Teotihuacan to house multiple families. Murals that were preserved from the destructive fire also give a fascinating idea of the artistic and cultural styles and values of the people. During the continuing excavations, other findings have revealed that both animal and human sacrifice was practiced, possibly to celebrate power.

Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987, Teotihuacan is a must-visit attraction for all travellers with an interest in lost civilisations and world history, just 30 miles outside Mexico City. No visitor leaves without lasting memories of this mystical city, while the towering pyramids and beautiful early-urban complexes are magnificent subjects for photo journals of your tour.

To find out more about what you can discover with Titan, take a look at our Mexico’s Mayan Trail tour.

Article published on: 5th April, 2014

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Jenny

Jenny’s passion for culture and wildlife has taken her across the world. Favourite experiences so far have included snorkelling at the Great Barrier Reef, sailing on the Ganges in Varanasi, hiking through Norway and spending many hours on safari in Kenya and India spotting a menagerie of wonderful creatures.

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