Monday, May 22, 2017

Templo Mayor and the Casa de los Amigos

Just to be clear, the Templo and the Casa are two different things. Yesterday we went down to the Zocalo on the metro to see the amazing excavations of the "major temple" discovered in the centre of the city in 1978. This was the ruin of the Aztec city called Tenochtitlan at the hands of the Spanish. And the beginning of Mexico City and indeed Mexico itself.

The excavations have taken many years but now there's an extensive site that visitors can explore on roped off pathways as well as a stunning museum. Here are a few photos.

This is an extensive site that sits right in the middle of the historic centre of the city. You can see huge carves snakes, stairways, altars, walkways and crypts, many of which contained human skulls and sacrificial knives.

This obsidian knife was used to cut out the hearts and sever the heads of people who were sacrificed to the gods.


I love the juxtaposition of these two cultures: one the warlike Aztecs whose religion demanded human sacrifice, and the other the conquering Spanish who subjugated the native peoples and used the stones from their destroyed temples as the foundation for their churches. Out of this comes the complex society that we see today as Mexico.

That was yesterday. Today we took the metro down to the Revolution Monument.

Its history is really interesting too. president Porfirio Diaz planned a grand legislative palace and commissioned a French architect to build a neoclassical building starting in 1897. Ten years later it was still being built but the money ran out. Then the Mexican Revolution happened in 1910 and everything changed. For twenty years the iron skeleton remained and then in 1938 it was completed as a monument to the revolution.  Its design is monolithic and feels a bit like a Soviet monument.

We took an elevator to the top to view the city and the massive sculptures at each corner. Then we walked down inside the cement brickwork where we saw the original metal structure. Fascinating.

But the main purpose of today's trip was to visit the Casa de los Amigos, a hostel, educational facility, and refugee centre run by a Quaker group in Mexico City. In January 2016, Harry spent a month here while volunteering to teach Spanish. This building was formerly the studio of famous Mexican muralist Jose Clemente Orozco and was designed by iconic Mexican architect Luis Baragan. we took a look around at this sanctuary and community centre and I was really impressed at the work they are doing.

Here's Harry talking to one or the residents. And here are some views of the building, showing stairways, outdoor courtyards and Harry in a large room, probably formerly the studio, now a Quaker library.


  1. Beautiful !
    The inside green dome shot is outstanding.
    It sounds like you are such a fabulous time.

    cheers, parsnip


I really appreciate your comments.