10/14/19 – BBC Travel
By Susannah Rigg
As we descended 7m below Mexico City’s Metropolitan Cathedral, I could feel my heart race. I had heard whisperings about the temples buried under this iconic cathedral – one of the largest and oldest in Latin America – but since their discovery in the 1970s, it had not been possible to see them. Now, I was part of a public tour that lets visitors explore the ancient secrets that lie just below this church’s depths.
Nearly 500 years after Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés toppled the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlán, the remains of the ancient metropolis continue to lay hidden mere metres under modern-day Mexico City. The Spanish started building the Metropolitan Cathedral in 1573 above the sacred Aztec (or as they called themselves, “Mexica”) temples as a symbol of their conquest.