Monday, June 03, 2013

An imperial jacuzzi carved in rock

You've got to hand it to Netzahualcoyotl, he knew how to pick his views! This is his bath overlooking his empire from the hills of Tlaixpan. To the left and outside the field of view of this photo would have been the great lake Texcoco and in its center the imperial city of Tenochtitlan.
From here the poet king could overlook his empire while he enjoyed his bath. To the side of his bath was the queen's bath. A smaller bath tub set in an outcropping and carved from solid rock. The view from there was no less spectacular than the king's.

From the queens bath stairways lead to the building complex below. Once again notice the stairs and structures carved in stone. This is basalt, by no means a soft rock to work. I guess the option, as a slave, was either carve the rock or have your heart carved out. Pretty damn simple choice if you ask me.

The whole complex took up the best part of three hills. Here we see the aqueduct going from one hill to the next and providing water to the aforementioned baths. The aqueduct ends at the base of the throne room and to its side a stairway leads up hill to the buildings at the top. Two passages form a circle around the hill providing water to the multitude of baths and complexes around its base. Beyond the hill and into the horizon stands Mexico City, back in the day it was all a lake that spanned left and right and as far as the eye could see. In it's center stood the mighty Tenochtitlan.

Below is a view from one of the baths on the other hill. A set of terraces with baths lined this hill and on top ( to my back) sat a building complex with rooms and living quarters. The photo can't capture the scent of incense that permeates the air. Giving tribute to the relevance of the site even today. Notice the dry, but recently placed flowers at the bottom.

I take a break to enjoy the emperor's bath after riding all morning under a blazing sun. Behind me you see the terraces that lead up to the aforementioned buildings and living quarters. Notice the water channel that brings water from the top of the hill and feeds the aqueduct to the other hill were the main baths are.

After a relaxing snooze in the tub a quick drop downhill gets me an ice cold beer and some delicious quesadillas and tlacoyos with some kick ass hot sauce!

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