Posted by: Lori Reinhold
You probably know who Montezuma is – the ninth ruler of the Aztec empire before the Spanish conquered them in the early 16th century, as the Ancient History Encyclopedia will tell you. But did you know that there is a Montezuma Castle in Arizona that isn’t associated with the Aztec ruler and is located right in our own backyard?
Montezuma Castle, located just a short drive from Sedona, is a well-preserved ancient dwelling where some of the native Sinagua people used to reside. This huge 20-room castle stands five stories tall, and is built into a recess in a limestone cliff, as The American Southwest describes.
The castle is a truly impressive engineering feat, though the name is a misnomer. When first discovered, settlers in the region errantly called it “Montezuma” Castle, assuming it was associated with the great Montezuma of Central America. When you go to Montezuma Castle, you can enjoy a self-guided 1/3-mile loop trail that will lead you past the five-story cliff dwelling, through a beautiful sycamore grove, and along Beaver Creek.
Along the way, you’ll find Montezuma Well, also a National Monument in this ancient site that includes more cliff dwellings, large pueblo ruins and an ancient pit house. Plus, of course, the well, that provides a constant supply of warm water that kept the settlers hydrated. What better way to learn about someone’s ancient life than to tour where they used to live?
According to ArizonaRuins.com, there’s evidence of human habitation in the Arizona area that is about 2,000 years old, although based on what we know of the region, it’s probable that humans lived there long before that. In fact, after the departure of the Sinaguans, two other native tribes – the Yavapai and the Apache – used the well, and both groups have creation stories for the world and its people and creatures that begin in the depths of the ancient Montezuma Well, says Sedona.net.
Montezuma Castle and Montezuma Wall were declared National Monuments in 1906 by Theodore Roosevelt. Since then, historic groups and the National Park Service have dedicated themselves to repairing and maintaining these two incredible historical sites.
There is so much history to learn right here in the great state of Arizona! If you’ve never visited these incredible archaeological sites before, book a trip to Arizona and a stay at the Alma de Sedona Inn. With a convenient location near the grounds, you can explore the site in an afternoon, and our complimentary concierge service can take care of making arrangements for travel and your activities throughout your stay. Learn more by calling us today at 928-282-2737 or reserve a room online now.