The Fall of Tenochtitlan

Whether it was a conquest or an invasion, the events that took place in the Aztec capital 500 years ago are in desperate need of reappraisal.

the destruction of Tenochtitlan, Spanish, 16th century © Bridgeman Images.
The destruction of Tenochtitlan, Spanish, 16th century © Bridgeman Images.

Five hundred years ago, the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan fell. While this anniversary is being commemorated in Spain, Mexico has demanded apologies from the Vatican and from its former colonial master for the atrocities committed during the Conquest against its Indigenous population. Events are taking place in Mexico City to observe this momentous year in its history, but instead of celebrating its founding – as Mexico City – it is a commemoration of 700 years of Mexico-Tenochtitlan and 200 years of Mexican independence. Celebrating the city’s history as the capital of the Mexica-Aztec Empire, the anniversary draws attention away from what the mayor of Mexico City, Claudia Sheinbaum, has referred to as ‘the so-called Conquest’. 

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