Location: Central Mexico
Altitude: 2281 Meters / 7482 Feet
Founded: 400 BC - 300 AD
Population: 125,000 (Making it one of the largest in the world, historically)
UNESCO Designation: 1987
Name: Teotihuacan roughly translates as "the place where the gods were created."
Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987, Teotihuacan is an important site, whose original architects remain a mystery. Settled around 400 BC, evidence shows the mighty Aztecs didn’t arrive in the city until the 1400’s, when they named it Teotihuacan, which means “place where the gods were created.” Having been abandoned for hundreds of years prior, historians are still working to unlock the mysteries of Teotihuacan’s original inhabitants.
The city of Teotihuacan boasts over 2000 structures, as well as pyramids, plazas, temples, and palaces. The Avenue of the Dead (Miccaotli in Nahuatl) runs through the centre of the city, from the Moon Pyramid, past the Temple of Jaguars and Sun Pyramid, multiple plazas and platforms, and past the path that leads to the Temple of Quetzalcoatl.
There are several theories about who built Teotihuacan, including some that have been debunked. The Toltecs were a powerful culture that thrived in this region too late to have been the architects of this marvellous city. Other theories include the originators were the Totonacs, Maya, Mixtec and Zapotec. The major structures of this impressive city were completed by 300 AD, and it is estimated the city housed 200,000 inhabitants by 400 AD. By 750 AD, it has been suggested the poor rose against the tyrannical leaders, burning temples and art works in protest. They city was abandoned until the Aztecs arrived in the 1400’s.