Sunday, April 04, 2010

The church built on the pyramid in Cholula

We´ve been reading a lot of books on Mexican history, and we wanted to visit the site of one of the most notorious acts of cruelty that took place in Cortez´s conquest of Mexico in 1519.

Cholula had a population of about 100,000 at that time and was a major city. Today it is part of the Puebla metropolitan area.

Cortez invited the nobles of the area to a meeting. They were unarmed. He and his native allies ambushed and slaughtered them and then sacked and burned the city. Thousands were killed.

Supposedly Cortez wanted to send a message to Moctezuma, the Aztec emperor, about what was to come. Moctezuma´s city, Tenochtitlán (where Mexico City is today), later suffered a similar fate.

Cholula is also known for its great pyramid, supposedly the largest in the world. The Spaniards built a church on top of it in 1596, Nuestra Señora de los Remedios. In the photos you can see where part of the pyramid and its lower platforms have been excavated.

Cindy is climbing the stairs at the base, which gives you some sense of the massiveness of the pyramid. The church is out of sight behind the top of the structure.

The church itself is very impressive inside, which helps explain why it was not removed so the pyramid could be completely excavated.

No comments:

Post a Comment