Spanish Language and Culture
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Lesson 3: Talking about doing Things

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Culture: Teotihuacán (Mexico)

"Teotihuacán" is the name of this metropolis of the Nahuatl, which today is located north-east of Mexico City. Teotihuacán traditionally means "City of Gods", but it can also be translated with "City, in which people become gods". The construction of Teotihuacán began around 300 BC.; The Pyramid of the Sun was built later around 150 BC. and remains the second biggest pyramid in the world until today. The city reached its zenith around 150-450 AD. when it became the and cultural and economical center of Mesoamerica.

View from the Pyramid of the Sun onto the Avenue of the Dead in Teotihuacán.
According to today's estimates, at the time of the Spanish invasions during the 16th century, about 150.000 to 200.000 people lived in Teotihuacán, a number far greater than the number of citizens in Paris, London or Madrid at that time. Also, it is said that the people of Teotihuacán, similar to the Romans, had running water in their houses, something considered highly advanced and almost impossible to realize in Europe at the same time.

The main Avenue of the city is the "Avenue of the Dead", which until today is enclosed by impressive architecture. The Avenue leads past the Pyramid of the Sun, the Pyramid of the Moon, the Temple of Quetzalcoatl, the temple of the feathered snake, and many more smaller temples and palaces. Unfortunately, the treasures of the cave, which lies beneath the Pyramid of the Sun, were stolen, possibly in precolonial times.

Until today, Teotihuacán remains one of the biggest tourist attractions and excavation sites in Central America.

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