Palace of Quetzalpapalotl

The Palace of Quetzalpapalotl sits at the southwest edge of the Temple of the Moon. It is considered the most palatial building in Teotihuacán, though it is but one of several palaces in the city. Even today, some 1,500 years after it was built, you can see the richness of the structure with its painted lintels and ornately carved columns.

Whether rulers actually lived at this palace is open to debate, though some archaeologists believed priests may have occasionally lived there.

The palace is centered around a courtyard, with birds and butterflies used as decorations. It was these decorations that led to its name. Quetzal means butterfly.

Palace of Quetzalpapalotl

The palace was discovered in the early 1960s and named after designs featuring abstract carvings of birds/butterflies with obsidian eyes were found on the structure. The discovering architects believed them to represent Quetzalpapalotl, a feathered creature had bird and butterfly characteristics. Later archaeologists believe these designs are more symbolic of an armed bird but the name of the temple has lingered.

The palace was built, destroyed and rebuilt over the time the city was inhabited, so you’ll see a variety of ruins on your visit.