In 1325, the indigenous Mexica people of modern-day Mexico founded what would eventually become the largest city in the pre-Columbian Americas, Tenochtitlan.
The initial settlement was built in the middle of then Lake Texcoco, making it unique among all of the world’s early cities and affording it protection from outside invaders. Eventually, Tenochtitlan came to be the capital of the vast Aztec Empire. At its peak, it was likely home to more than 200,000 people, making it one of the largest cities in the world at the time.
In 1521, Tenochtitlan was captured and destroyed by the Hernan Cortés and the Spanish Empire. Cortés soon founded Mexico City on top of its ruins.
Today, the remnants of Tenochtitlan are memorialized as a World Heritage Site.