Entrance to the Palace of Quetzalpapalotl (Quetzal-Butterfly) at Teotihuacan. The Palace occupies the southwestern edge of the Moon Plaza. It was excavated and restored in the 1960s as an example of Teotihuacán most elite residences/public buildings.

Entrance to the Palace of Quetzalpapalotl (Quetzal-Butterfly) at Teotihuacan. The Palace occupies the southwestern edge of the Moon Plaza. It was excavated and restored in the 1960s as an example of Teotihuacán most elite residences/public buildings.

 Overview about the 1962-1964 reconstruction of the Palace of Quetzalpapalotl, and the 2009-2012 restoration. 

Overview about the 1962-1964 reconstruction of the Palace of Quetzalpapalotl, and the 2009-2012 restoration. 

 Patio of the Palace of Quetzalpapalotl. The columns were constructed of wooden posts surrounded by stone rubble cores and finished off with carved stone slabs.

Patio of the Palace of Quetzalpapalotl. The columns were constructed of wooden posts surrounded by stone rubble cores and finished off with carved stone slabs.

 Patio of the Palace of Quetzalpapalotl. Sufficient original slabs were recovered in the excavation to allow the archaeologist Jorge R. Acosta to fill in the missing pieces with replicas.

Patio of the Palace of Quetzalpapalotl. Sufficient original slabs were recovered in the excavation to allow the archaeologist Jorge R. Acosta to fill in the missing pieces with replicas.

 Some of the images on the pillars are thought to represent the quetzal bird, which was revered by pre-European peoples living throughout central America. Other images show a creature which is a combination of the quetzal and a butterfly, hence the name.

Some of the images on the pillars are thought to represent the quetzal bird, which was revered by pre-European peoples living throughout central America. Other images show a creature which is a combination of the quetzal and a butterfly, hence the name.

 The name Quetzalpapalotl is Nahuatl for the "Quetzal butterfly" and it was applied to this building because of carved images like this one which appear on the columns surrounding the courtyard shown.

The name Quetzalpapalotl is Nahuatl for the "Quetzal butterfly" and it was applied to this building because of carved images like this one which appear on the columns surrounding the courtyard shown.

 The stone columns are profusely carved with representations of quetzals ad owls, where painted and had obsidian incrustations. Here an owl is shown.

The stone columns are profusely carved with representations of quetzals ad owls, where painted and had obsidian incrustations. Here an owl is shown.

 The stone column shows a quetzal.   More recently the excavator and others have realized that the creature was none other than the ubiquitous Teotihuacan Armed Bird. Also called, "Spearthrower Owl."

The stone column shows a quetzal.

More recently the excavator and others have realized that the creature was none other than the ubiquitous Teotihuacan Armed Bird. Also called, "Spearthrower Owl."

 "Patio de los Pilares", Palace of Quetzalpapalotl at Teotihuacan.  The rooms surrounding the courtyard have a porch, where you can see the review of the decoration, mainly at the bottom of the walls. The painted designs are of abstract geometric shapes, like a square stepped frets and  scrolls, and are framed by  a line of spiral-shaped ornaments, that are always in the same direction. Such designs are unique in the city.    

"Patio de los Pilares", Palace of Quetzalpapalotl at Teotihuacan. The rooms surrounding the courtyard have a porch, where you can see the review of the decoration, mainly at the bottom of the walls. The painted designs are of abstract geometric shapes, like a square stepped frets and  scrolls, and are framed by  a line of spiral-shaped ornaments, that are always in the same direction. Such designs are unique in the city.

 

 This large room of the Palace of Quetzalpapalotl at Teotihuacan is supported by stone pillars which were plastered with lime and then painted red. On the lower part of the walls are abstract red and white murals. The reconstructed ceiling is supported by large wooden rafters, over which are laid smaller sticks. Above the sticks is a layer of mud and plaster forming the floor of the room above.   

This large room of the Palace of Quetzalpapalotl at Teotihuacan is supported by stone pillars which were plastered with lime and then painted red. On the lower part of the walls are abstract red and white murals. The reconstructed ceiling is supported by large wooden rafters, over which are laid smaller sticks. Above the sticks is a layer of mud and plaster forming the floor of the room above.

 

 The white columns and large jaguar head in front of the Palace of Quetzalpapalotl at Teotihuacan on the north side. Under it, buried earlier, is the "Temple of the Feathered Conch Shells" and adjacent, on the west side, is the "Patio of the Jaguars."

The white columns and large jaguar head in front of the Palace of Quetzalpapalotl at Teotihuacan on the north side. Under it, buried earlier, is the "Temple of the Feathered Conch Shells" and adjacent, on the west side, is the "Patio of the Jaguars."

 The white columns and large jaguar head in front of the Palace of Quetzalpapalotl at Teotihuacan on the north side. Under it, buried earlier, is the "Temple of the Feathered Conch Shells" and adjacent, on the west side, is the "Patio of the Jaguars."

The white columns and large jaguar head in front of the Palace of Quetzalpapalotl at Teotihuacan on the north side. Under it, buried earlier, is the "Temple of the Feathered Conch Shells" and adjacent, on the west side, is the "Patio of the Jaguars."

 Entrance to the "Patio de los Jaguares" adjacent to the Palace of Quetzalpapalotl at Teotihuacan. To the right is the way to the subterranean Temple of the Feathered Conch Shells.

Entrance to the "Patio de los Jaguares" adjacent to the Palace of Quetzalpapalotl at Teotihuacan. To the right is the way to the subterranean Temple of the Feathered Conch Shells.

 "Conjunto de los Jaguares". The portic murals represent wild cats, each pose on a geometric figure, with two hands bearing wristbands and appearing to support them. There are two arranged symmetrically at each side of the entrance to the room. The inside walls are also decorated with the same motif.

"Conjunto de los Jaguares". The portic murals represent wild cats, each pose on a geometric figure, with two hands bearing wristbands and appearing to support them. There are two arranged symmetrically at each side of the entrance to the room. The inside walls are also decorated with the same motif.

 The Jaguar on this mural wears an elaborate feathered headdress, and along his back are a line of sea-shell trumpets. His left front paw clutches a snail-shell trumpet which is decorated with the long feathers of the quetzal bird. What emerges from the mouth of the trumpet are two drooping speech glyphs which represent the sound of the trumpet.

The Jaguar on this mural wears an elaborate feathered headdress, and along his back are a line of sea-shell trumpets. His left front paw clutches a snail-shell trumpet which is decorated with the long feathers of the quetzal bird. What emerges from the mouth of the trumpet are two drooping speech glyphs which represent the sound of the trumpet.

 Tlaloc, the rain god, peers down on the trumpet-blowing jaguar. This representation of Tlaloc is repeated several times along the top of the mural. Tlaloc is everywhere, from the great Pyramid of the Sun to rooms in private homes at Teotihuacan.   

Tlaloc, the rain god, peers down on the trumpet-blowing jaguar. This representation of Tlaloc is repeated several times along the top of the mural. Tlaloc is everywhere, from the great Pyramid of the Sun to rooms in private homes at Teotihuacan.

 

 Stairway to the temple of Feathered Conch Shells, under the Palace of Quetzalpapalotl, at Teotihuacan.

Stairway to the temple of Feathered Conch Shells, under the Palace of Quetzalpapalotl, at Teotihuacan.

 The Substructure of the Feathered Conch Shells at Teotihuacan. It was a common occurrence for Teotihuacanos to build newer buildings on the razed ruins of older ones but here the older building was actually left standing and filled in before the later Palace of Quetzalpapalotl was erected on top of it.

The Substructure of the Feathered Conch Shells at Teotihuacan. It was a common occurrence for Teotihuacanos to build newer buildings on the razed ruins of older ones but here the older building was actually left standing and filled in before the later Palace of Quetzalpapalotl was erected on top of it.

 Detail of the palace wall decorations of the Feathered Conch Shells at Teotihuacan. These finely cut stone reliefs were once covered with bright paint. After 2000 years, some of the red pigment can still be seen. This design was repeated several times up the wall and in other places in the palace.

Detail of the palace wall decorations of the Feathered Conch Shells at Teotihuacan. These finely cut stone reliefs were once covered with bright paint. After 2000 years, some of the red pigment can still be seen. This design was repeated several times up the wall and in other places in the palace.

 The construction of the adjacent temple of the Feathered Conch Shells at Teotihuacan. Delicately cut designs adorn the stones covering the pillars. Below the platform are vivid paintings in multiple colors.

The construction of the adjacent temple of the Feathered Conch Shells at Teotihuacan. Delicately cut designs adorn the stones covering the pillars. Below the platform are vivid paintings in multiple colors.

 Brightly painted birds adorn the walls of the palace of the Feathered Conch Shells at Teotihuacan. The pyramid of which the temple rests is decorated with multicoloured mural on three sides, where its panels present a procession of green birds in profile. Form their beak streams water curving towards petaled, yellow flowers. This bird is found symmetrically placed with respect to the central stairway and have been assumed to be quetzal, although the shapes of their bodies leads one to the believe they could be macaws or parrots. Unfortunately, the excavation of the palace has led to exposure to air and humidity, and the paintings are deteriorating rapidly.

Brightly painted birds adorn the walls of the palace of the Feathered Conch Shells at Teotihuacan. The pyramid of which the temple rests is decorated with multicoloured mural on three sides, where its panels present a procession of green birds in profile. Form their beak streams water curving towards petaled, yellow flowers. This bird is found symmetrically placed with respect to the central stairway and have been assumed to be quetzal, although the shapes of their bodies leads one to the believe they could be macaws or parrots. Unfortunately, the excavation of the palace has led to exposure to air and humidity, and the paintings are deteriorating rapidly.

 After removing walls the view inside the Palace of the Feathered Conch Shells at Teotihuacan reveals older stages of the building.

After removing walls the view inside the Palace of the Feathered Conch Shells at Teotihuacan reveals older stages of the building.