Mitla Archeological Site and the Column of Life
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Ciudad de los Muertos (City of the Dead) is what the name of this archeological site means in the Náhuatl language. The precision of the fretwork that embellishes its walls has made it one of Oaxaca’s signature artistic motifs. And for good reason–it is incredible how the ancient Mixtec and Zapotec people fitted stone into these geometric designs that wrap their buildings. The architectural skill of the indigenous population is also visible in their fort, built with enormous stone blocks to protect themselves from raiding enemies.
One spot that you have to see in this old city is Palacio Mitla. The palace’s high walls are completely adorned with intricate geometric motifs–the indigenous form of baroque pre-dating the arrival of the Europeans.
Before leaving this ancient Zapotec city, search out the so-called Columna de la Vida or Column of Life, and see how much more time you’ve got left to live. Or, if you are visiting with your partner, take a seat on the sitting rock to ensure your marriage.
Zona Arqueológica de Mitla, Camino Nacional, Los Presidentes, Centro, San Pablo Villa de Mitla, Oaxaca, MéxicoSee map