The Templo Mayor was one of the main temples of the Aztecs in their capital city of Tenochtitlan, which is now Mexico City. Its architectural style belongs to the late Postclassic period of Mesoamerica.The temple was called the huey teocalli in the Nahuatl language and dedicated simultaneously to two gods, Huitzilopochtli, god of war and Tlaloc, god of rain and agriculture, each of which had a shrine at the top of the pyramid with separate staircases.The temple, measuring approximately 100 by 80 m (330 by 260 ft) at its base, dominated a Sacred Precinct. Construction of the first temple began sometime after 1325, and it was rebuilt six times after that. The temple was destroyed by the Spanish in 1521.
The modern-day archeological site lies just to the northeast of the Zocalo, or main plaza of Mexico City, on the corner of what are now Seminario and Justo Sierra streets.After the destruction of Tenochtitlan, the Templo Mayor, like most of the rest of the city, was taken apart and then covered over by the new Spanish colonial city. The Temple’s exact location was forgotten, although by the 20th century scholars had a good idea where to look for it. This was based on the archeological work done at the end of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th.Leopoldo Batres did some excavation work at the end of the 19th century under the Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral because at this time, the temple was thought to be there. In the first decades of the 20th century, Manuel Gamio found part of the southwest corner of the temple and his finds were put on public display. However, it did not generate great public interest in excavating further as the zone was an upper-class residential area.