"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 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, the city was never fully destroyed.
From the moment Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortés first found and confronted them, the Aztecs have fascinated the world. 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. 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.
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