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Teotihuacán - La Ciudadela (La Citadelle)

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Ciudadela

La Citadelle devait servir de résidence au chef suprême de la ville. Quatre grands murs de 390 m de long, surmontés de 15 pyramides, entourent une imposante esplanade dont le monument principal est le temple de Quetzalcóatl.

Le Temple est flanqué de deux grands complexes (en ruine) de salles et de patios. La façade du Temple de Quetzalcóatl (vers 250-300 après JC) est ornée de bas-reliefs impressionnants. Sur les tableros, la divinité du serpent à plumes aux crocs acérées dont la tête émerge d'un "collier" de onze pétales, alterne avec une créature à quatre yeux et deux crocs, souvent identifié comme Tlaloc, dieu de la pluie.

Les plus récentes recherches ont déterminé qu'il ne s'agissait pas précisément d'un édifice dédié à Quetzalcóatl, sinon au temps, au calendrier et à la fertilité. Sur les rampes est représentée la tête du serpent simulant sa sortie de la montagne sacrée reproduite par le soubassement de sept corps qui supportent un Temple dans sa partie supérieure.

The Citadel is a large architectual complex which covers an area of 160 000 sq. m. The group is surrounded by what is called, the Great Platform, a quadrangular structure on which 15 pyramidal bases are found. The four to the west have stairways leading to the Avenue of the Dead. The rest give way to the Great Plaza and were united by a perimeter wall which converted this group into a great walled site. Three residential groups are also found within this complex: the Temple of Quetzalcóatl or the Plumed Serpent, a large public plaza with an altar at the center and stairs leading towards the four cardinal points and a Temple, called the South Building, located to the south of the plaza.

Within the complex, there was a large pyramidal base which, during the early phases of development of the city, was dedicated to Quetzalcóatl. Sometime afterwards, it was covered over by another building known now as the Embedded Platform. On the north and south sides of the Temple of Quetzalcóatl are two similar residential groups.

Ciudadela
 
Ciudadela

Access to the Great Plaza is limited by a platform with rooms and stairways. The NW Group, built during the apogee of the city, is located at the northwest corner of the Great Plaza and connects directly with the North Group.

Different elements and information recovered from the archeological research, suggests the existence of a dominant group and that the Citadel was the focal point and administrative center of the city of Teotihuácan. The architectual greatness of the site is found among these components, the restricted accesses to the residential groups; the magnificence of the friezes and the mural paintings; the cosmogonic and calendar symbolism of the five directions of the universe manifested in the buildings, decorations and offerings and finally, the significance of the sacrificial dedicatory to the Temple of the Plumed Serpent.

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