During construction of a parking lot for the Centro Cultural de España en México (CCEMx), workers made a startling discovery. There, lying beneath the dirt, were the vestiges of a school for Aztec nobles.
Based on archaeological evidence, the archaeologists declared that the site was a Calmecac. This place was meant to prepare nobles’ kids to become priests, warriors, governors, or even emperors. The classes included theology, rhetoric, strategy, and poetry. Students were also taught astrology and the interpretation of dreams.
The museum dedicated to the calmecac opened in 2012 in the basement of the CCEMx building. One part shows the entrance to the school. Another area contains a hall, and still another part houses part of the rooms where the students lived. The most curious thing you’ll spot within the remains is on one side of the stairs, where it’s possible to see a footprint left behind by one of the Aztec builders.
The museum shows not only the remains of the school, but all the archaeological pieces discovered in the site as well. There, it’s possible to see ancient pottery, some wooden stairs, and even a piece of a human jaw engraved with pre-Hispanic allegories.
Know Before You Go
The entrance to the site museum is in the basement of the CCEMx, down the back stairs. The CCEMx always shows contemporary art exhibits from Mexico and Spain. Don't forget to visit the Spanish restaurant on the rooftop, which offers an amazing view of Mexico's downtown (sometimes it also hosts concerts at night).