From the moment Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortés first found and confronted them, the Aztecs have fascinated the world, and they continue to hold a unique place both culturally and in pop culture. Nearly 500 years after the Spanish conquered their mighty empire, the Aztecs are often remembered today for their major capital, Tenochtitlan, as well as being fierce conquerors of the Valley of Mexico who often engaged in human sacrifice rituals.
Thriving between AD 100-750, Teotihuacan was one of the largest cities in the ancient world, with a population estimated at upwards of 150,000-250,000, over three times the size of contemporary Mayan capitals. Furthermore, Teotihuacan was a supremely well-planned and efficient city that was able to field massive armies and extend its power far beyond its home base. Teotihuacan not only served as a vital center for trade in Ancient Mesoamerica, but also spread its architecture, art, religion, and culture.
"Learn to pronounce the place names!"
The Tower of London is one of the most historic sites in all of England and still one of the most popular. All around is the modern city of London, one of the world's most prosperous and power financial districts, but the Tower is still a daunting structure that looms across the landscape. Not a single structure but a vast network of medieval and early modern fortifications, it anchors the southeastern end of the old city and controls access to the River Thames and, through it, London's connection to the sea.
During the Age of Exploration, Native American tribes fell victim to European conquerors seeking legendary cities made of gold and other riches, attempts that were often made in vain. And yet of all the empires that were conquered across the continent, the one that continues to be most intimately associated with legends of gold and hidden riches is the Inca Empire.
Although Russia has long been considered part of Europe, it has always had a culture so distinct and a history so different that it is still foreign to Western Europe in many ways. Naturally, this sense of otherness has lent an aura of intrigue and mystique to Russia as people have struggled to understand it. Over the long course of Russian history, perhaps no aspect of the giant country has generated interest quite like Siberia, the easternmost part of Russia that lies in Asia.