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Aztec Architecture

The Aztecs thrived in Tenochtitlan, which is current day Mexico City. The Aztec temples resembled Egyptian pyramids except they had steps and sacrificial rooms at the top. Their architecture reflects an image of the people who developed it. This experience and knowledge made their architecture some of the most advanced and elaborate of their time. Their greatest examples of architecture include the Sacrificial Temple, the Shrines of the gods, the Emperors Palace and their everyday homes. The most important structure to the Aztecs was the sacrificial temple. If a new temple was being built, they didnt tear down the old one, they just built the new temple right on top of the old one. The builders added more new layers to the old temple until many new layers made the new temple larger, more extravagant and more intricate. Normally, more stairs were added and the sacrificial room was made larger. The Aztecs also constructed many shrines and each one was to worship a separate god. The interior of the shrines had a circular shape that was cut from stone. There was also a small table on which the offerings were placed. But there were so many offerings that the usually all wouldnt fit, so a new building was added.

The second part to the shrine had a place in it to burn offerings, but since the top was a thatch roof, it caught on fire a lot and burnt down. Thats why there are so many shrines in Mexico. The largest, most extravagant building that was ever constructed was the Emperors Palace. This palace was two stories tall and included a very large courtyard. The inside walls were covered with paintings, mosaics, carvings, and gold panels. The rooms on the ground floor were the largest. Columns were used to support the weight of the second floor. The staircase leading up to the next floor was made of pure marble. This was a material accessible only for finest homes or to richest people. The homes of the peasants and nobles were pretty much the same; they just varied in dcor and building materials. The peasants houses were made of adobe and the nobles houses were made of lime or stone. Both houses had thatched roofs. The homes consisted of two parts, the main house area, and a circular building, which was a giant steam bath. Unfortunately, there is not much left of the Aztec architecture since Cortez came and took over the Aztecs.