The city of Tenochtitlan was one of the largest and most powerful cities of Mesoamerica. It was the Aztec capital city, and is thought of to be the last major ancient city. It only lasted around 200 years, but it was described as "magnificent" by the outsiders who saw it.
The god of war, Huitzilopochtli, appeared in an Aztec leaders dream one night. He told them to find the cactus with the bird perched on top. Finally, after traveling around, they saw this vision. This was where they were to build the great city, Tenochtitlan. This place was located by the small lake in the Valley of Mexico named Lake Texcoco. The city got its name from a combination of three Aztec words. Tetl means stone, nochtli means nopal, and tlan means place. Tenochtitlan translates to "The place of stone and nopal."
The city was built on a series of small islands that first had to be dried to create enough space for the city.
There were three causeways to the mainland and a series of canals and bridges. The streets of Tenochtitlan were very New England, and random. The canals separated the different neighborhoods, or calpulli. However, virtually every part of Tenochtitlan was accessible by either foot or canoe. All of these features can be seen on a preserved map carved to wood from the time of Tenochtitlan, and other primary maps.
One of the most major land-marks of Tenochtitlan was the Main Temple. The Main Temple was near the city center of Tenochtitlan and stood 45 meters talk. It looked like a giant pyramid with big steps running up the sides and a flat top. This temple was dedicated to the rain god, Tlaloc, and the god of war, Huitzilopochti. The temple was the place...