Aztecs – an exhibition at the Weltmuseum

After having seen the announcement for the Aztecs exhibition at the Weltmuseum for ages, I longed to see it. Before the pandemic and it’s ensuing closure of everything I never realized how essential culture is to my well being. Probably because everything was available. Books, movies, theater, museum, and music. But if we learned anything during this weird year then it’s that we have to appreciate the moment. Which meant for me, as soon as the museums opened, I was ready to go.

Aztecs @Weltmuseum Wien

History is so interesting, because understanding it means that you can learn something for the presence. Because it is constantly repeating itself. Year ago, long before this blog existed, I traveled to Yucatan and toured the peninsula. The Mayan treasures and ruins impressed me a lot. So of course I wanted to know what the Aztecs were up to, even though the Maya civilization is way older and was over a bigger area. But still, it’s really amazing that two advanced civilizations lived in the same region (kind of).

If you are like me and read a lot, you will enjoy this exhibition. There is quite a bit of text. It is repetitive though. In the last room an informative documentary shows. Basically you can just watch that one and then start at the beginning of the exhibition. You’ll get all the information you need. It’s fun though to read about such interesting details as adultery.  Should that happen both partners in a marriage die. Makes the decision of choosing a partner way more interesting. Tidbits like this don’t make it into the film, so you might want to stick to reading after all.

The building skills of the Aztecs knew no limits as one look at this picture of Tenochtitlan, nowadays the center of Mexico city, shows.

the former city of Tenochtitlan @Weltmuseum Wien

Not much is left of the Aztecs culture after the Spanish conquest. Especially the many books, which detailed everything from daily life to medical procedures, burned in the heretic fires. The Aztecs were of a lesser culture after all and they needed divine assistance in the form of converting priests. When you look at the statues of their gods though, they are anything but a lesser culture. Very beautiful indeed.

Ehecatl-Quetzalcoatl, the god of the wind for the Aztecs @Weltmuseum Wien

Mictlantecuhtli, the god of the underworld of the Aztecs @Weltmuseum Wien

I can’t remember who all these gods were I took pictures of, but each one looks unique. In the end, even though the Aztecs gave blood sacrifices to their many gods, isn’t way more honest than what the Christians did? They spilled blood because their enemies believed in a different god.

some kind of fertility god @Weltmuseum Wien

I like the necklace and the amazing crown @Weltmuseum Wien

Macuilxochitl, the god of dance, music and excess in form of a forest chicken @Weltmuseum Wien

the eagle head was probably cut out of a mountain @Weltmuseum Wien

However you stand with this issue, the Aztecs exhibition is worth your time. Don’t forget that once you have finished the exhibition to head up to the first floor. There you will find Montezuma’s headdress which is a vibrantly colored feather crown. Due to its age and fragility it could neither be moved for the Aztecs exhibition nor can it be returned to Mexico (or so we are told). Yours, Pollybert

Montezuma’s headdress @Weltmuseum Wien

1010 Wien, Heldenplatz
Aztecs exhibition: 15.10.2020-13.04.2021


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