For hundreds of years, the Great Pyramid of Cholula in Mexico appeared to be a grassy hill with a church on top. Luckily, the dirt and soil gradually eroded away and the stunned archeologists made an astonishing discovery in the early 20th century.
The Mexican town Cholula has an impressive history. It was inhabited as early as 1700 B.C. and for centuries served as a political and religious centre. In the 16th century A.D. the Spanish invasion started and Cortes arrived with his desire to conquer. These were the dark times for local ancient cultures, as Catholic Churches were spreading at impressive speed.
The grassy hill towering over Cholula seemed like a worthy place for one of these churches, and in 1519, La Iglesia de los Remedios was built. The remains of the church still rest on the top of the hill, which in reality is no hill at all. It is an Aztec temple, the largest man-made structure in the world.
The soil and dirt did fell off gradually over hundreds of years, and while another building was constructed nearby, archeologists made the surprising discovery of what once used to be the Great Pyramid of Tepanapa.
The excavation works have so far revealed many of the pyramid’s stairways, platforms, altars and more than eight km of tunnels buried under the church. The base of the pyramid was measured at an impressive 450 by 450 m and its height at 66 m.
It is a massive temple which was once dedicated to the deity Quetzalcoatl. A 50-metre long multicolored mural was also uncovered by the archeologists; which features life-sized human figures.
Adventurers keen to explore this ancient Aztec temple are welcome to enter the tunnels either with or without a guide, though it is deemed unwise to come here at night. It is very exciting to realize that such treasure was hidden away and forgotten for centuries. What a miraculous discovery.