A roof covering the structure – part of the temple mayor – has collapsed, but the damage is minor.
A roof that partially protected one of Mexico’s most important ancient sites collapsed under the weight of a major rain and hail storm on Wednesday evening, causing minor damage to the ornate temple complex that once housed the Elite warriors of the Aztec Empire.
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador pledged on Thursday to repair any damage to the House of Eagles, which was covered by a large modern-built metal roof that was knocked down by the storm. The structure is adjacent to the ruins of the most sacred Aztec shrine, known today as the Templo Mayor.
Mexico’s culture ministry called the damage to the ruins “minor, recoverable and restorable” in a statement Thursday, adding that removal of the collapsed roof and other repairs would begin immediately.
The House of Eagles features intricately carved relief sculptures along its walls and benches, depicting processional warriors and bloodletting rituals. The remains of his wall paintings have remained visible for five centuries after the 1521 Spanish conquest of the Aztec capital and the subsequent razing of the city.
In a message on Twitter, Leonardo Lopez Lujan, the chief archaeologist to the mayor of the Templo, wrote that he was relieved that major damage to the interior of the structure and its decorations was avoided.
“I am not superstitious, but blessed be Tezcatlipoca!” he joked, referring to a major Aztec deity associated with providence and witchcraft.
The ruins of the Templo Mayor, which the Aztecs believed to be the center of the universe, are located right next to Mexico City’s main Zocalo plaza, next to a colonial-era Catholic cathedral.
The open-air ruins, along with an adjacent museum that houses monumental sculptures found at the site, have been a major tourist draw in the city center for decades.