Project Description

Iztaccihuatl and Popocatepetl

Centuries ago, the mighty Aztec empire ruled over many nations and tribes, demanding a costly tribute from each. Only one nation had refused to fall under Aztec domination. The kingdom of Tlaxcala remained defiant and free but continuously assailed by the Aztec army. It was during this dark time that the beautiful princess of Tlaxcala, Iztaccihuatl, fell in love with the kingdom’s most valiant warrior, Popocatepetl. The brave Popocatepetl asked the king for the princess’ hand in marriage. The king agreed, but the wedding was to take place only after the kingdom had achieved victory over the Aztecs. So princess Iztaccihuatl bade a teary farewell to her beloved Popocatepetl, who swore he would soon return to be together forever. The Tlaxcala army had to wage a long and bloody war to keep the Aztecs from taking over their country. But in the end, the small kingdom managed to drive out the invading army. Messengers rushed ahead to the capital with news of victory, and Popocatepetl began the march home, his heart longing to reunite with his princess. Just as Iztaccihuatl was waiting to receive word of her beloved Popocatepetl, a messenger arrived with terrible news: the brave warrior had died in battle. The princess Iztaccihuatl was overcome with terrible grief. Unable to bear it, the beautiful princess died. But the news of Popocatepetl’s death was a lie. It was a treacherous plan devised by a jealous courtier who was also in love with the princess. His terrible plan to separate the lovers had worked. When Popocatepetl arrived, he learned that the princess had died. Filled with sorrow, he took her body and carried it to the top of the highest mountain. There, he lit a torch and begged the gods to let him remain with her forever. The gods granted his wish and turned them both into mountains. One has the figure of a woman lying in peaceful sleep. The other is the faithful warrior who stands beside her, forever vigilant. The smoke from his torch still rises from the top to this day, a symbol of their eternal love.