A roof covering the structure – part of the temple mayor – collapsed, but the damage is minor.
A roof that partially protected one of Mexico’s most important ancient sites collapsed late Wednesday under the weight of a heavy rain and hail storm, causing minor damage to the ornate temple complex that once housed the elite warriors of the Aztec Empire.
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador promised Thursday to repair any damage to the House of Eagles, which was covered by a large, modern metal roof that was overthrown by the storm. The structure is adjacent to the ruins of the most sacred shrine of the Aztecs, now known as the Templo Mayor.
Mexico’s Ministry of Culture described the damage to the ruins in a statement Thursday as “minor, recoverable and recoverable,” adding that removal of the collapsed roof and other repairs will begin immediately.
The House of Eagles features intricately carved relief sculptures on walls and benches depicting warriors in processions and bloodshed rituals. The remains of the painted murals have remained visible five centuries after the Spanish conquest of the Aztec capital and the subsequent destruction of the city in 1521.
The main Aztec temple known as the Templo Mayor is located in downtown Mexico City [File:Henry Romero/Reuters]In a post on Twitter, Leonardo Lopez Lujan, the Templo mayor’s chief archaeologist, wrote that he was relieved that major damage to the interior of the structure and its decorations was avoided.
“I am not superstitious, but blessings be Tezcatlipoca!” he quipped, referring to a great Aztec deity associated with providence and sorcery.
Believed by the Aztecs to be the center of the universe, the ruins of the Templo Mayor are right next to the main Zocalo square in Mexico City, next to a Roman Catholic cathedral from the colonial era.
The open-air ruins and an adjacent museum displaying monumental sculptures have been a major draw for tourists in the city center for decades.