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TEPOZTLAN

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In these times of free market, when the world has been transformed into a huge global village, some towns, even without being aware of it, have kept struggling against the main current, thus maintaining their traditions alive.

Tepoztlan is one of those headlong towns, because its people are proud of its past, of its uses and traditions, for they love their environment and their ancient Pre-Hispanic and Colonial temples … which are meant to continue to be theirs forever.

In Tepoztlan you can not miss visiting the following places:

-Pyramid of Tepozteco, an ancient Pre-Hispanic temple with more than 9 metres of height, erected in honour of Ometochtli-Tepoztécatl, god of the pulque, of fecundity and harvest. During its times of bliss, this place was regularly visited by many pilgrims coming from faraway lands.

The base of the Temple is a magnificent platform engraved with many religious symbols and attractive bass-relieves. It is believed that this monumental pyramid was constructed somewhere between the 1150 and 1350 years of our era, at the top of a huge boulder in the Tepoztlan Valley (2.000 m.a.s.l.)
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    To come to this important religious centre located inside the National Park El Tepozteco, the visitor will have to make an ascent that takes more than an hour. The route is tiresome, but it will finally be rewarded with the moving sights of the Valley and the Pyramid.
    • Parque Nacional El Tepozteco - National Park, varied and extensive, full of life, those are the main characteristics of this 24.500 hectare natural area that shows thick pine and ilex tree forest areas in its higher grounds, while in its warm lower areas can be seen traces of tropical jungles. Geographical contrasts that bring the results of a great diversity of animal and plant life forms.
      From its more than 24 thousand hectares, 7.265 belong to the jurisdiction of Tepozteco, including the mountain with the same name, where the Pre-Hispanic temple of Ometochtli-Tepoztécatl, god of the pulque, the fecundity and the harvest is placed.
      The Park was created in 1937 by the President Lázaro Cárdenas, with the goal of protecting the natural and cultural richness of the zone. In 1988 the Biological Corridor Ajusco-Chichanautzin was created, thus redoubling the protection to this area.
    -Temple and Ex Convent of La Natividad, is a delightful renaissance styled religious compound, built under the support of the Dominican Order between the years of 1555 and 1580. It was first christened as Virgen de la Natividad, who was the patroness saint of Tepoztlan.

    This architectonical compound, declared by the UNESCO as Patrimony of Mankind in 1994, contains, besides the Temple and the Convent, a great atrium, an open chapel and four underground chapels, the latter of which were created for resting during the procession of El Santísimo.

    On the façade of the Temple can be seen the images of Virgin Mary, Fray Domingo de Guzmán, founder of the Dominican Order, and Saint Catherine of Siena. On the other hand, the old monastery has a magnificent façade that was elaborated with seeds, which are yearly renewed during the famed festivity of September the 8th.

    By the end of the 18th century, the Dominicans abandoned the convent due to the Bourbon Reforms. Some time later, its ample facilities were occupied by the French forces of Maximilian of Habsburg, and several decades later by the revolutionary army of Mexico.

    In the present times, the former convent hosts the Historical Museum of Tepoztlan, under the custody of the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (INAH). It is located at the Revolución Avenue (no number) at the Centre of Tepoztlan.
    • Museo Histórico de Tepoztlan, contains four halls and a library specialised in historical issues. Its collections are true testimonies of the traditions and costumes of Tepoztlan. The objects contained by this collection were donated by the people of the City.


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