Tenochtitlan’s Most Famous City


Book Details

Author  Jesse Harasta
Publisher  Charles River Editors
Publication Date   December 3, 2013
Pages  52


*Includes pictures.
*Explains the history of Tenochtitlan from its founding to its destruction by Cortes and the Spanish.
*Includes descriptions of Tenochtitlan by Spanish conquistadors, including Cortes' 1520 letter to Holy Roman Emperor Charles V.
*Describes the layout of Tenochtitlan and its important structures.
*Includes footnotes and a bibliography for further reading.
*Includes a Table of Contents.

“When we saw so many cities and villages built in the water and other great towns on dry land... we were amazed and said that it was like the enchantments they tell of in the legend of Amadis, on account of the great towers and buildings rising from the water and all built of masonry. And some of our soldiers even asked whether the things that we saw were not a dream... I do not know how to describe it, seeing things as we did that had never been heard of or seen before, not even dreamed about.” - Bernal Díaz del Castillo

Mexico City is now easily the largest city in the Western Hemisphere, trailing only Tokyo internationally, but unlike the other great cities of the Americas, Mexico City is not a new place. Mexico City instead has much in common with cities like London, Delhi or Cairo in the East in that it is an ancient city dating back centuries before the arrival of Colombus in Hispañola. For, while much (including the name) has changed, Mexico City is the mighty Tenochtitlan, capital of the Aztec Empire and the great American metropolis of the Spanish Empire. There has been no break in occupation, and despite much devastation in the Conquest, the city was never fully destroyed.

Indeed, from the moment Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortés first found and confronted them, the Aztecs have fascinated the world, and they continue to hold a unique place both culturally and in pop culture. Nearly 500 years after the Spanish conquered their mighty empire, the Aztecs are often remembered today for their major capital, Tenochtitlan, as well as being fierce conquerors of the Valley of Mexico who often engaged in human sacrifice rituals. But thanks to the Spanish conquest, even though the Aztecs continue to interest people across the world centuries after their demise, it has fallen on archaeologists and historians to try to determine the actual history, culture, and lives of the Aztecs from the beginning to the end, relying on excavations, primary accounts, and more.

Much of what is known today does come from the Conquistadores, and what those men encountered was entirely unexpected: one of the world's greatest cities, teeming with over 200,000 people, built on an island on a lake and connected to the shore by a number of long, broad stone causeways. On the water itself were remarkable floating gardens, on surrounding shorelines were sprawling suburbs, and behind them was a dramatic wall of mountain peaks.

Tenochtitlan: The History of the Aztec’s Most Famous City comprehensively covers the history of the city, examining what life was like in the great city, who ruled the city, and what the day-to-day existence of all sorts of Tenocha (people of the city) was like. Along with pictures and a bibliography, you will learn about Tenochtitlan like you never have before, in no time at all.

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