The town is located in a sub-tropical valley surrounded by dramatic mountains and cliffs. It is in the State of Mexico about 70 miles to the southwest of Mexico City. Alejandro and I visited the town four years ago, and found it an enchanting place. My blogger friend Kim, who is spending several months in Mexico City, had never been there. So, last Saturday, we took him to this "magic town".
The principal point of interest is the archaeological site atop one of the hills over 700 feet above Malinalco. Here the Aztecs, who conquered the region around 1470, built one of their most important and sacred ceremonial sites. Kim led the way climbing the 426 steps leading to the site.
We finally reached the Aztec ruins at the top of the hill.
The most significant structure in the archaeological site is the House of Eagles. It was carved out of the rock face of the cliff.
Within this building the bravest Aztec warriors would be initiated into the elite Order of the Eagles. There is a circular chamber with images of eagles and jaguars carved out of the stone.
Carvings of jaguars guarded the building.
From the ruins there is a fine view of the Malinalco below.
We descended into the town and there we visited the church and former monastery that were built by the Augustinian order between 1540 and 1560.
On the walls and ceilings surrounding the cloister of the former monastery are impressive paintings that were done by indigenous artists. They depict the Garden of Eden as imagined by the natives.
After lunch, we wandered through the Saturday "tianguis" (open-air market) with its colorful produce and handicrafts.