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"All about us we saw cities and villages built in the water, their great towers and buildings of masonry rising out of itů When I beheld the scenes around me I thought within myself, this was the garden of the world. And of all the wonders I beheld that day, nothing now remains. All is overthrown and lost." – Bernal Diaz del Castillo, one of Cortes' men in The Conquest of New Spain.

An island city, five miles square, Tenochtitlan was surrounded by Lake Texcoco, one of the five lakes in the Valley of Mexico. Three great earth bridges, or causeways, led into the city. Canals were used as streets and people traveled everywhere by canoe. With palaces, gardens, fountains, the royal zoo, a market with 25,000 people busy buying and selling fantastic new objects and foods, aqueducts bringing fresh water into the city, sewage collection on large barges for use as fertilizers, and sacred ball courts, Tenochtitlan was more advanced than any city in Europe. And looming over it all, a great pyramid with blood-stained temples on the top.
Map of Tenochtitlan

Top Image: The Great Pyramid
Center Image: Map of Tenochtitlan