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09.04.2009

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Malinalco
Images of
Malinalco / More places of the surroundings of Mexico City

Inserted in the confluence of the transversal neo-volcanic axis and the Northern Sierra of the state of Morelos, the town of Malinalco unites in the same place, beautiful natural landscapes, a rich history and an outstanding architectural legacy, all framed in a placid and cheerful mexican province.  

Malincalco is located to the south of the state of Mexico, 70 km. from the city of Toluca and only two and a half hours car drive to Mexico City. It enjoys a moderate warm and humid climate throughout the year that has attracted many residents from the Mexican capital that have chosen this place to establish their weekend homes.

The history of Malinalco is extremely old and goes back to prehispanic times, having been populated by Teotihuacan, Toltec, Matlazintla and Aztec cultures. Of these last two, a very important archeological site remains, located at the top of the “Hill of the Idols” to the west of the town. This is the place where the “Eagle gentlemen” went to practice esoteric rites for their initiation as Aztec warriors. On this archeological site we can locate several constructions, the “House of the Eagles and the Tigers” being the most outstanding, it’s a pyramid-temple carved directly from the stone of the mountain’s slope. This space, with a snake represented around its door, symbolized the entrance to the Mictlan or underworld to the prehispanic warriors, who, after entering and going through a series of magical rituals and ceremonies, returned to the world of the living converted into legendary eagle gentlemen of the mexica armies.

At the foot of the “Hill of the Idols” lies the town of Malinalco, one of the first to be colonized by the Spaniards upon their arrival in Mexico in the 15th Century. Witness to this are the chapel of Santa Monica and the Temple of the Divine Savior which stands out because of the beautiful convent annexed to it; the ex-convent of the Transfiguration, same that has a beautiful central patio flanked by arches, following the traditional scheme of these types of constructions in the New Spain, but all of its roofs and interior walls are covered in beautiful fresco murals with baroque motifs that represent the most important vegetation species for the Indians of the region, which constitute one of the first artistic samples of the mixed Mexican culture. Also, at the entrance of this magnificent enclosure there is a well-kept garden with species native to the area and beautiful time-worn stone walls, which enhance the place.

Malinalco has a good infrastructure and houses many small hotels, inns and several restaurants. It is important while visiting this town, to walk down its ancient streets in which we can discover beautiful details of the traditional houses of the area, which still reflect the peace and beauty that they’ve had for centuries. Recently, several shops in which products of design, local crafts and textiles are sold have been established in the area, making the town even more appealing. A visit to the local market is specially recommended, it opens on Sundays and Tuesdays, when fresh products from the town like legumes, vegetables and even some exotic fruits native to this area can be purchased.


 



 

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