The Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon: A journey to Teotihuacan

28 Nov

Wow.  My husband and I spent over three hours exploring the Teotihuacan site of the Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon and many, many other buildings, temples, and vast plazas.

It was incredible that such an intricate community was built in the early third century, around 200 AD. 

Nearly 2000 years later, the site is still spectacular.  I can only imagine what it looked like to the eyes of people so many years ago.  The wonder and disbelief to what was built had to be awe inspiring and truly a monument to the gods.

For me it was the completion of another item on my list of places that I needed to see in my life time. And it was well worth the journey from Mexico City to Teotihuacan. My husband and his family went to Mexico City in December 1978. He climbed the Pyramid of the Sun. It was on that trip that he realized he missed me. When we saw each other back at Missou, he proposed. I rally needed to see this site!!

When at first you see the Temple rising from the fields as you drive along the highway, I really could not image the massive height of these temples.  Even up close I was stunned.  And it is not just the temples. It is the entire complex of buildings, homes, and plazas.  Each plaza has its own temples and homes. 

The drainage system to keep the clean water from flooding and the waste water from combining with the fresh water was great.  We could see where the rainwater would travel continually downhill till eventually it reached the river.  Keeping the two waters separated made using the fresh water easy.  However, when they reached the river, they combined.  (The river, unfortunately, is quite polluted and smelly!!)

The welcoming plaza with its temples to other religions was grand.  I could imagine myself walking there and being mesmerized by the central temple to the gods surrounded by the many temples of the visiting travelers. Each plaza is so large.  Closing my eyes, I tried to imagine each one filled with worshippers on holy days.  We learned that they believe the priests would meet together before each mass gathering so that they would preach the same information to all the worshippers.   Good planning.

A pyramid’s original decoration rediscovered.

But really nothing can prepare you for the size of the Pyramid of the Sun reaching up to the sky. And also the Pyramid of the Moon strategically placed in front of a mountain that makes its size seem even more gigantic.  Someone had a great eye for drama.  The Pyramid of the Moon demonstrates that drama.

Originally these brick and stone monuments were covered with stucco and painted. There are a few areas where the art and color still remain.  It was interesting to have a local man show us how the colors came from the plants to paint the stucco.  That truly surprised me. But the mural of the puma lets you envision how the entire plateau once looked.

We did not just stay in the large plaza dedicated to the Sun and the Moon. We walked the entire two kilometer site. Climbing up and down the steep stairs to get to yet another plaza.  To be honest it made me think of the song that goes, “the bear went over the mountain to see what he could see. HE saw another mountain.”  For us we climbed over another stairway to see another plaza to see another stairway to walk through to another plaza.  I kept saying to my husband, I think this is the last one.  And it was not.  Till it was.  But honestly, this seemingly endless trek through plazas and up and down steep stair cases was amazing, and worth the trip!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyramid_of_the_Sun

5 Responses to “The Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon: A journey to Teotihuacan”

  1. Amy November 28, 2021 at 4:14 pm #

    Sounds amazing! And you must have better knees than I do!

    • zicharon November 28, 2021 at 5:23 pm #

      Thank goodness my knees are good. The stairs are really steep. Sometimes I sort of crouched down to go down them!!

  2. Sharon November 28, 2021 at 7:53 pm #

    What an absolutely grand adventure. Thank you for sharing it.

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