Sunday, 27 October 2013

Cholula with Grasshoppers for lunch

I wasn't sorry to leave Mexico City. The traffic was beyond belief.

 The teachers were on strike and the main square was closed off so we were unable to see the Palace or the Museum of Fine Arts. and I really don't see myself going again. Mexico - yes definitely but I can happily pass on the capital.

So it was on to Cholula and the largest pyramid in the world ( by volume at least). It was a reasonably long drive but the scenery was amazing.

 This is  Iztaccíhuatl   - or the White the four peaks form the impression of a sleeping woman. Not that much snow on it at this time of the year.

The legend goes that she was a princess who fell in love with one of her father's warriors, Popocatépetl.  The emperor sent Popocatépetl to war in Oaxaca   promising him her as his wife when he returned.  Reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet, Iztaccíhuatl was told he had been killed in battle and died of grief.  Popocatépetl returns safely to find her dead. He carries her body to a place near Tenochtitlan where the gods covered them in snow and transformed them both into mountains.

In his anger and grief Popocatépetl became a volcano spewing out fire on the earth .

So on to Cholula itself.

The site is approached through a tunnel dug through the pyramid itself. Not old at all but made by the archaeologists so they could see what was inside ( not a lot. It's a solid fill). It's a nice way though to leave the town behind and go back in time.
The temple-pyramid complex was built in four stages, starting from the 3rd century BCE  through the 9th century CE, and was dedicated to Quetzalcoatl. It has a base of 1,480 by 1,480 ft  and a height of 217 ft). This gives it a volume larger than the Great Pyramid of Giza although it is not as high.

The invading Spaniards sought to re-purpose the pry amid and the church on top is dedicated to  "Our Lady of Remedies"

One of the altars. These were normally outside the temple so that the people could participate. Only nobility and priests were allowed in the temple buildings on top of the giant pyramids. 

Unlike the Egyptians who built a new edifice for each pharaoh , the common practice amongst the meso-americans was to simply build over the existing pyramid to make to broader and taller. This would be repeated many times and has meant that a lot of the older archaeology has been preserved.

This is some of the earlier building now uncovered.

and the grasshoppers?

 A local delicacy. Here being sold by a street vendor on the site. These were seasoned with chili. Yes I did try one but I had to close my eyes to do it. Crunchy on the outside but rather soft and squishy in the middle. An acquired taste I think.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...