13 de julio de 2020
ÚLTIMAS NOTICIAS:
Hispanic World

Architect: Cortes considered preserving Aztec capital

Ines Amarelo.

Ines Amarelo.

Mexico City, May 12 (efe-epa).- Tenochtitlan, the hub of the Aztec empire, so impressed Hernan Cortes and his men when they first set eyes on it in March 1519 that the Spanish conquistador thought long and hard about whether to replace the metropolis of imposing temples - some as high as 40m (131ft) - with a European city.

The territory now occupied by Mexico City was described by Spanish soldiers and missionaries as the Venice of the Americas.

"It had to be difficult to decide between destroying it and making something new. Hernan Cortes experienced a great emotional conflict," architect and preservation activist Maria Bustamante told EFE.

But Cortes soon realized that a city where temples and other ceremonial structures took precedence over dwellings would not accommodate European settlers.

Indeed, a European viewing the area in 1325, when the Mexicas began building Tenochtitlan, would have found it unsuitable for any kind of city.

The Mexicas, however, saw the small, long-uninhabited island surrounded by lakes and wetlands as predestined to serve as their capital.

"What they saw was that conception of having found the place, the prophecy," Bustamante said.

During the nearly two centuries between their arrival and the coming of the Spaniards, the Mexicas made Tenochtitlan into a very developed city, according to journalist Jorge Pedro Uribe, who praised the founders for their "disciplined" approach to urban planning.

"The city was divided into four segments, each with its own ceremonial center, as well as the grand main temple at the union of the two great axes, north-south and east-west," Uribe told EFE. "They also had canals and a sophisticated system of water control."

While some of the surrounding lakes were freshwater, others held saltwater, so the builders needed to devise ways to bring drinking water into the city and keep the saltwater out.

"They had great hydraulic engineering, very much adapted to nature. We could say they were the first sustainable urbanites," Bustamante said.

The Spanish recognized the value of the water scheme and tried to perpetuate it. The conquerors also stuck to the quadripartite division of the metropolis.

"Starting from that, they take advantage of the past and experiment with a Renaissance-style urban plan," she said.

With the passage of time, knowledge of the Aztec approach to water control was lost due to "poor decisions related to trying to dominate nature," such as draining the lakes, Bustamante said.

"It was the worst decision, but it was necessary," she added. "Because the city was inundated with 3m of water for one or two years of every decade, which made it a difficult place to live."

As a consequence of the drainage operation and other ill-considered moves, the historic core of Mexico City is sinking by up to 5cm every year. Some researchers say the territory now sits as much as 40m lower than it did at the time of the conquest.

Thanks to the soil subsidence, parts of the many pre-Columbian buildings that lie beneath colonial-era and modern structures have begun to poke out above the surface emerge.

"Tenochtitlan is not as swept away as they taught us, nor as far underground as we think," Uribe said. "If we know to look, we can see Tenochtitlan in the historic center with just a little imagination and knowledge."

ia/dr

Histórico de noticias
Mastercard Helps Small Latin American Businesses Leap into E-Commerce

Miami, July 8th (EFE).- Mastercard - the global technology company in the payments industry - announced a new digital platform with local and regional...

At least 7 dead, 40 injured when gasoline truck burns on Colombia highway

Barranquilla, Colombia, Jul 6 (efe-epa).- At least seven people died and 40 were injured on Monday when a tanker truck filled with gasoline flipped over and...

Daily COVID-19 pandemic roundup: July 6

Miami Desk, Jul 6 (efe-epa).- Here's a roundup of stories around the world related to the novel coronavirus pandemic:

Texas, Florida hospitals on verge of collapse while Trump does nothing

Washington, Jul 6 (efe-epa).- Some hospitals in the states of Texas and Florida are on the verge of having no additional beds for coronavirus - or any other...

Trudeau will not visit Washington to hail USMCA pact with Trump, AMLO

Toronto, Jul 6 (efe-epa).- Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will not travel to Washington this week to meet with US President Donald Trump and Mexican...

Too-early reopening responsible for Covid-19 spikes in US

Washington, Jul 5 (efe-epa).- Local officials in the US states hardest hit by the renewed Covid-19 spikes - including Florida and Arizona - on Sunday are...

Daily COVID-19 pandemic roundup: July 2

Miami Desk, Jul 2 (efe-epa).- Here's a roundup of stories around the world related to the novel coronavirus pandemic:

US puts brakes on economic reopening as daily infection tally hits new high

By Jairo Mejia

Plastic curtain allows relatives to hug quarantined elderly in Sao Paulo

By Carla Samon Ros

Three snapshots of Venezuela's ongoing crisis

By Ron Gonzalez

Daily COVID-19 pandemic roundup: July 1

Miami Desk, Jul 1 (efe-epa).- Here's a roundup of stories around the world related to the novel coronavirus pandemic:

US buys up almost all Remdesivir to treat COVID-19

Washington, Jul 1 (efe-epa).- The United States, the world epicenter for the coronavirus with more than 2.6 million cases and a death toll of 127,000, has...

Weinstein victims to receive $19 mn in settlement

New York, Jul 1 (efe-epa).- Dozens of women who were sexually abused and harassed while they were working for now-convicted US film producer Harvey...

Daily COVID-19 pandemic roundup: June 30

Miami Desk, Jun 30 (efe-epa).- Here's a roundup of stories around the world related to the novel coronavirus pandemic:

US considering another stimulus package amid huge pandemic challenge

By Alfonso Fernandez

Fauci: US could quickly jump from 40K to 100K daily Covid-19 cases

Washington, Jun 30 (efe-epa).- The top US government epidemiologist, Dr. Anthony Fauci, on Tuesday warned that the number of newly detected daily...

Ex-Pemex chief arrested in Spain agrees to be extradited to Mexico

Mexico City, Jun 30 (efe-epa).- Mexican Attorney General Alejandro Gertz Manero reported Tuesday that the former director of Mexico's state-run oil company...

Black Lives Matter protesters set up camp in New York

By Jorge Fuentelsaz

More than 100 arrested for vandalizing statues amid US protests

Washington, Jun 29 (efe-epa).- More than 100 people have been arrested for vandalizing statues and monuments amid the protests against racism and police...

Supreme Court overturns Louisiana law restricting abortion

Washington, Jun 29 (efe-epa).- The US Supreme Court on Monday overturned a law that would have severely restricted access to abortion in Louisiana, dealing...

Daily COVID-19 pandemic roundup: June 28

Miami Desk, Jun 28 (efe-epa).- Here's a roundup of stories around the world related to the novel coronavirus pandemic:

LGTB+ groups cancel marches due to pandemic, but not demands for equality

International Desk, Jun 28 (efe-epa). - The coronavirus pandemic forced the worldwide LGTB+ community to cancel in-person marches and Gay Pride parties on...

No new Florida COVID-19 record set, but Miami infections keep rising

Miami, Jun 28 (efe-epa).- After two consecutive days of setting new records for newly detected coronavirus infections, the daily number of cases confirmed...

Daily COVID-19 pandemic roundup: June 25

Miami Desk, Jun 25 (efe-epa).- Here's a roundup of stories around the world related to the novel coronavirus pandemic: