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Current Search Destination:Zempoala, Veracruz, Veracruz
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About 40 kilometers (25 miles) north of Veracruz off Mex. 180, Zempoala (sehm-poh-AH-lah), also known as Cempoala, is the site of remains that once comprised the ceremonial center and fortress of the Totonac Indians. Zempoala was a contemporary of El Tajín, although it continued to thrive after El Tajín was abandoned sometime during the 13th century.
It was here that Hernando Cortés gained the first Indian allies in his 1519 campaign to conquer the Aztecs. The conquistadores took note of the city because the white stucco buildings, gleaming in the tropical sun, most likely reminded them of silver. He gained the trust of the Totonac chief and his followers, who had been under Aztec rule for the previous 50 years.
Things to See
Cempoala Ruins
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Current Location: Zempoala, Veracruz, Veracruz