Aztec ArchitectureThe Aztec civilization started out as groups of wandering tribes. They were constantly fighting and leaving their small cities. Finally, in the fourteenth century, they settled near Lake Texcoco, and founded the city of Tenochtitlan (where Mexico City is today). The Aztecs conquered many other civilizations, and took great pride in their buildings. They took over the ancient city of Teotihuacan, and used it as a center for their civilization. It was laid out in a grid, with the important structures in a line. Because the Aztecs were very religious, temples were everywhere.
Sacrificial pyramids were important in Aztec architecture. The major cities each had at least one. They usually had four stages, with platforms in between each. The pyramids had stairs up all four sides, and at the top, there was a sacrificial temple. These look somewhat like Egyptian pyramids,but are especially amazing because the Aztecs did not have wheels, pulleys, or other things that the Egyptians used to build their pyramids. Often, the people of a city would decide they wanted their pyramid bigger and better. Instead of building a new one, they would build on top of the old one. Pyramids were also built as temples for the gods. They would have statues, and other decorations. One of the most famous pyramids is the pyramid of the sun in Teotihuacan.
Aztec homes were usually made out of adobe with thatched roofs. They were often two buildings. Each building was only one room. One was used for eating, and sleeping, and had a small shrine. The other was a steam bath. Common and noble people had the same basic design of house, but the nobles had larger ones, and often had decorations or statues.