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Santa Cecilia Acatitlan Pyramid & Museum

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Sta Cecilia Acatitlan Norte
Photo: Maunus on Wikimedia Commons

 

The Santa Cecilia Acatitlan Pyramid & Museum is a fascinating site in the neighboring community of Tlalnepantla de Baz. In ancient times, Acatitlan was a minor altépetl, and actually subject to the early altépetl of Tenayuca. , Royal seat of the chichimecas. It is certain that its inhabitants arose from the families that accompanied Xólotl2 and settled on the plains and slopes of the Sierra de Guadalupe.

There is some speculation that the area may have been inhabitants from Teotihuacán, which is much older. But by the year 1299, the Tepanecas of Azcapotzalco were demanding tribute, and that it be collected by Mexica warriors. They’d yet to consolidate at Tenochtitlan. When they did, by the 1430s, they would rule over both towns until the fall to the Spanish in 1521.

The pyramid we see today is was the center of a grand ceremonial center. The pyramid then lay mostly under groundcover until archaeologists reported it in 1923-1924. In 1961, the Federal Directorate of Archeology, a precursor to INAH began surveying the area.

The Acatitlan Pyramid area chiefly focused on the adoration of Huitzilopochtli and Tláloc, as did the center of Tenochtitlan. The pyramid construction took place in eight successive stages. Early builders, though, removed some exterior structures and many stones to construct the nearby Church of Santa Cecilia Virgin and Martyr. It remains a splendid 16th-century structure although it was renovated in the 18th century.

The Museum

The Site Museum opened in 1961 after extensive work to recover artifacts orginating at the site. Today it includes five exhibition rooms inside an adobe house from 1832. The collection includes several monoliths, sculptures, and carved stones. Tere are also artifacts showing later Mexica ​​influence.

The town holds an Equinox Festival each March with lights, music and art.

  • Most international visitors come to the site directly from Tenayuca, which is the terminal stop on Metrobús Line 3. It’s about a ten-minute taxi ride from one site to the next. Buses also run northward from Tenayuca marked “San Rafael” and “Av. De Los Fresnos.” The trip takes some 30+ minutes.
How to get here

Nearby

Cerro del Tenayo

Nearest at 2.05 kms.

Tenayuca Ruins

Nearest at 2.37 kms.

Mercado Cuautepec

Nearest at 3.27 kms.

Santiago Atepetlac

Nearest at 3.52 kms.

Campos Revolución Cablebús

Nearest at 3.57 kms.

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