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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Montezuma's Castle

I drove over to Montezuma's Castle National Monument the other day. It was built and occupied by the Sinagua Indians around 1400 A.D. The first photo shows what was called Castle A by archaelogists.

It really is nothing more than some caves hollowed out of the cliff. Years later, a five-story masonry construction was built higher up on the cliff wall. Supposedly about 45 people lived in the "apartment house" before mysteriously fleeing the area, never to return.


The ruins are now off-limits to tourists although a park is operated at the base of the cliff and thousands of visitors come to the park annually. I've been there several times but this week was a perfect time to visit with temperatures around 70 degrees.

Incidentally, the name "Montezuma's Castle" is a misnomer. When the ruins were discovered by European Americans in the 1860's, they were believed to have been built by followers of the Aztec emperor of Mexico. In truth, he never came anywhere near this far north. But the name stuck.

8 comments:

Mike said...

When we were in Moab, there were several places there where Native Americans had been living in caves that were far up these rock walls. How they got up there, I'll never know.

Catalyst said...

Very tall ladders.

Dawn (Twisted Sister) said...

This is fascinating. I'd love to see it.

Catalyst said...

Be sure you stop here and say hi when you come. I'm less than an hour from there.

TomboCheck said...

I remember taking a field trip up there as a kid. That was before they closed the ruins off to the public. We got to climb up to the roof of one of the buildings, playing on ladders, etc. Tons of fun for a kid.

Catalyst said...

But dangerous!

Malicious Intent said...

THAT is my idea of a perfect home. Is it is on the market? I am starting to think that the hermit lifestyle might be a good thing. I like the rustic look too. Not a frilly, lacy, floral, fancy girl. Earthy/rustic is more my style.

Catalyst said...

Regrettably, it is off the market. Probably be too much even for you, anyway.