On our third day of visitation to Mexico city, it seems our focus turned to religious monuments. We started the day visiting the ancient city of Teotihuacán, which seemed to be the religious center for a civilization that is still largely obscure, since everything I read lists a number of potential peoples who might have built the site. Contrary to what many people believe, Teotihuacán was already abandoned when the Spanish arrived, so at least they are not to blame for this genocide. After getting briefed about the site by our tour guide, Ana and I set out to climb the Pyramid of the Moon, which is the smallest one, behind me in the picture above. That climb was relatively easy, especially since, unlike the larger Pyramid of the Sun, this pyramid cannot be climbed to its top, due to its very poor state of repair after years of bungled archeological explorations. Atop this pyramid we found the expected complement of tourists, and some new age wackos with a fixation with crystals and pyramids.
Next, we moved on to the larger, Sun Pyramid (shown in the picture above), a climb in which I went unaccompanied. This pyramid seems much steeper at points than the smaller Moon Pyramid, but the view from its top is really stunning, as one can check out from the picture below. The summit of this one was even more packed with people than the previous one, but given the crowd, I saw fewer pseudo-religious nuts there, for what I assume to be less than ideal meditation conditions. As stunning as the view is, this pyramid was supposed to be even higher, were it not for some greedy (and stupid) explorers who blew up the top part of this place, mistaking some golden shiny plaster for gold.
Our final stop for the day was the basilica of Guadalupe, a conquest-era saint made by the Spanish to attract the worship of the native Mexicans thus supplanting their original cult of a certain local goddess. One interesting aspect of the original church, shown in the picture below, is that it is sinking along with the city, necessitating constant repair and concrete reinforcement in order to prevent the whole structure from collapsing. Within the small chapel built beside this church, one gets the notion the amount of money the conquistadors and the church have milked out of the Americas, as the chapel is decorated entirely with Silver.
|From Basilica de Guadalupe|