on May 8, 2006
Everybody aims to climb the highest pyramid in Teotihuacan, unfortunately the temple at it´s top is no longer there, but you can visit a very short pyramid (not climb it), is not the Moon (the second largest) but dedicated to a guy with feathers, Quetzalcoatl, the Feathered Serpent God.He is also known as Kukulcan in the Mayan areas, but here in the central area of Mexico, is associated with Tlaloc God of Rain, whose representations are unequivocally with some kind of goggles, which is unique, only him wears them no matter if in Teotihuacan, Chichen Itza or Copán (Honduras).In the pyramid you find a richly decorated facade where you will find the head of the serpent with a collar of feathers, and also the end of the snake, the rattle, along with some faces of Tlaloc, corn and sea shells, the latest are not indigenous to this area. Teotihuacan was a contemporary of Copán, Calakmul, Palenque, Tikal and many other Mayan cities, the trading and influence is overwhelming as the archaeological records show, the architecture and pottery of the Central America zone changed radically after Teotihuacan´s conquest or cultural invasion, we don´t know yet.Back to the pyramid. Now is off limits but years ago you were able to walk just a few inches from the amazing carvings, today there are important excavations going on and also some restoration works, so sadly you have to climb the small platform built to, guess, cover the pyramid from view at the Citadel. It´s believed that for some reason Quetzalcoatl felt from the favor of the ruling elite at some point because the whole pyramid was obscured from public view (but not destroyed, interesting). The traditional way to honor a building was to build a bigger one on top of the first, without destroying the decoration or murals, but in this case no one has come with a reasonable explanation.The Citadel is in the farthest south area of the archaeological complex near the old museum, so many tour companies just skip it in order to take you directly to the Sun and Moon complexes and gain more time to take you shopping (all of them get a commission at the stores), but you will miss a great opportunity to admire the facade of this pyramid, make sure the guide will take you to this one. The walk from one end to the other is a long one, it will take you more than 20 minutes under the hot Sun, so is better to go by car.
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