MARCH 13, 1325


Legend has it that the Mexica people migrated to Tenochtitlán from the mythical town of Aztlan, or “Place of the Herons,” because of a powerful omen.  Supposedly, they spotted the Chichimec Eagle god Huitzilopochtli devouring a snake while sitting on a cactus and took this as a sign that they needed to relocate.  They came to the isolated island in the center of Lake Texcoco.   Before the Spanish conquered Tenochtitlán in 1521, it was the center of Mesoamerica with almost half a million people residing on the island’s five square miles.  It was home to the Sacred Precinct with palaces and temples, floating gardens, and a massive market that served almost 60,000 customers per day.  The metropolis was known as “the Impossible City.”  Historians generally believe that Tenochtitlán was established on March 13, 1325.  The date was chosen in 1925 to celebrate the 600th anniversary of Mexico City which was built on the site of Tenochtitlán.

Source:  Aleyna Jones, “Discover the ancient city of Tenochtitlán,” History 101.  Retrieved 1/7/2020,
Map Graphic:  Hans Prem, 7/25/2008.  Public Domain.   

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