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Location Teotihuacan, Mexico   map
Date 200 to 800   timeline
Building Type city, ceremonial complex
 Construction System cut stone masonry
Climate warm temperate
Context urban
Style Pre-Columbian
Notes Note Pyramids of the Sun, Temple of Quetzalcoatl.






Elevation Drawing


Plan Drawing

Plan Drawing

Site Plan Drawing


More drawings available on The GBC CD-ROM.   Contributions appreciated.

Discussion Teotihuacan Commentary

"Any appreciation of ancient Meso-America's architectural splendour must begin with Teotihuacán, the City of the Gods. Its two gigantic pyramid temples, dating from about the time of Christ, are the largest and oldest in the Americas and were models for all the rest. There, too, stand the remains of the Pyramid of the powerful god Quetzalcoatl, the Plumed Serpent. Teotihuacán was destroyed by fire in the 7th century, but the worship of Quetzalcoatl was subsequently adopted by the Toltecs, who settled in central Mexico in the 10th century and established their capital at Tula. Their Aztec conquerors were, in turn, heirs to the cult of the Plumed Serpent."

— John Julius Norwich, ed. Great Architecture of the World. p34.

"The growth of the sacred complex in Teotihuacan was originally due to symmetrical elements being fitted together asymmetrically. By adding elements that are grafted on the avenue of the Dead, thus resembling a tree-trunk, this principle makes for constant urban growth."

[In the Pyramid of the temple of Quetzalcoatl, Teotihuacan], "The string walls and tiered panels are decorated with Plumed Serpent heads and masks of the god Tlaloc, symbol of rain. The shrine on top was built of perishable materials and has not survived."

— Henri Stierlin. Comprende l'Architecture universelle 2. p413-15.

Sources on Teotihuacan

Howard Davis. Slide from photographer's collection. PCD.2260.1012.1702.103. PCD.2260.1012.1702.104. PCD.2260.1012.1702.110. PCD.2260.1012.1702.109. PCD.2260.1012.1702.108. PCD.2260.1012.1702.107. PCD.2260.1012.1702.106. PCD.2260.1012.1702.105

John Julius Norwich, ed. Great Architecture of the World. New York: Random House, 1975. ISBN 0-394-49887-9. NA200.G76. discussion p34. Reprint edition: Da Capo Press, April 1991. ISBN 0-3068-0436-0. — An accessible, inspiring and informative overview of world architecture, with lots of full-color cutaway drawings, and clear explanations. Available at Amazon.com

Dennis Sharp, ed. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Architects and Architecture. New York: Whitney Library of Design, an imprint of Watson-Guptil Publications, 1991. ISBN 0-8230-2539-X. color photo of exterior, p195.

Henri Stierlin. Comprendre L'Architecture Universelle. Paris: Office du Livre S.A. Fribourg (suisse), 1977. site plan drawing, p414-415. elevation drawing of pyramid of the temle of quetzalcoatl, p413. plan drawing of pyramid of the temle of quetzalcoatl, p413. discussion p413-15.

Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.— Available at Amazon.com

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