This temple was once the largest and most important temple of the aztec capital tenochtitlán. At that time the center of the city was on an island in the lake of texcoco, which has later been drained and today méxico-city is on this marshy terrain. The templo mayor was superstructed by the aztec on all sides for several times (a total of 7 times) and so it always got bigger. The last extension was done around the year 1487 and the pyramid grew up to almost 180feet. With a 4-day celebration the temple was inaugurated again and for thousands of people it was a special day, they got sacrificed.
When the spaniard hernán cortés first came to tenochtitlan in 1519 he was delighted and he reported this city is more beautiful than malaga, but this didn´t distract him to raze it to the ground and assassinat thousands of indios in 1521.