Once the capital of the mighty Toltec empire, giant stone warriors still stand watch atop the main pyramid.

Tula Standing Toltec

Tula began as a small urban settlement in the 7th century, but by its peak around the 900 or 1000, had grown to the largest and most powerful city in Mesoamerica. However, the city’s dominion didn’t last long, with the site being largely abandoned by the 12th century, and its pyramids and temples burned, leaving behind a small community of indigenous craftsmen who continued to inhabit the ruins through the colonial era. While little more than foundations remain of the residential neighborhood, two pyramids still dominate the site. The Pyramid of Quetzalcoatl stands in front of the ruined palace, and is unique in Mesoamerica because it is topped by four 4-metre-high basalt columns carved into Toltec warriors. Allow yourself 30 minutes for the on-site museum to see artefacts like ceramics, jewelry, metalwork, and stone figures from Tula and other ancient civilizations throughout Mexico.

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