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date: 16 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Aztec palaces were the empire’s architectural infrastructure, providing the settings for political administration at all levels. Some also served as retreats and pleasure houses. They were effectively landscaped with monumental gardens that demonstrated the power of royal dynasties to command luxurious resources, while also serving practical purposes as horticultural nurseries. In Mexico, monumental palaces and gardens demonstrated Aztec styles of elite artistic expression and belief systems. Aztec palaces were so valued by the Spaniards that claims on them were made by the conquistadores as soon as Mexica power was undermined. The gardens were also valued, their control transferred from the defeated Aztecs to the victors, headed by the new Viceroy of New Spain, whose claims to the Mexica royal gardens at Chapultepec and Huexotzingo took precedence over those of the conquistadores. Cortés claimed Motecuhzoma’s New Palace, but eventually the property was taken over by the Viceroy.

Keywords: Aztec, Chapultepec, Huexotzingo, garden, horticulture, palace, status rivalry

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