Tzintzuntzan (Mesoamerican site)
Tzintzuntzan was the ceremonial center of the pre-Columbian Tarascan state capital of the same name. The name comes from the Purépecha word Ts’intsuntsani, which means "place of hummingbirds". After being in Pátzcuaro for the first years of the Purépecha Empire, power was consolidated in Tzintzuntzan in the mid 15th century. The empire continued to grow and hold off attacks by the neighboring Aztec Empire, until the Spanish arrived. Not wanting to suffer the destruction that the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan did, the emperor in this city surrendered to the Spanish. Eventually, much of the site and especially its distinct five rounded pyramids called yácatas were destroyed and the city almost completely abandoned. Due to lack of interest in the old Purépecha dominion, excavation of this site did not begin until the 1930s. Its largest construction are the five yácata pyramids, which line up looking out over Lake Pátzcuaro. The other is the large Grand Platform excavated into the hillside on which the yácatas and other buildings rest. Today the site is still used for events such as the Festival Cultural de Fin de Año.