What’s the Largest Pyramid in the World

Height Comparison Team

The world is dotted with architectural wonders that have captivated human imagination for centuries, with pyramids among the most iconic. Often associated with ancient civilizations, these monumental structures are testaments to human ingenuity and engineering prowess.

Among them, the Great Pyramid of Cholula in Mexico commands attention as the largest pyramid in the world by volume. Rising majestically from the Mexican landscape, this awe-inspiring structure embodies the rich cultural heritage and advanced architectural techniques of the pre-Columbian societies of Mesoamerica.

With its massive dimensions and intricate construction, the Great Pyramid of Cholula intrigues historians, archaeologists, and visitors alike, offering insights into the ingenuity and achievements of past civilizations.

As we delve into the story of this remarkable pyramid, we uncover its physical dimensions with Height Comparison and the cultural, historical, and spiritual significance that make it an awe-inspiring wonder of the ancient world.

Great Pyramid of Cholula: Largest Pyramid in the World

largest pyramid in the world

Category Information
Location Cholula, Puebla, Mexico
Coordinates 19°03′28″N 98°18′01″W
Area 45 hectares (111 acres)
Built Year 3rd century BCE to 9th century CE
Built For Religious and ceremonial purposes
Dimensions 450 m × 450 m (1,480 ft × 1,480 ft) base, 66 m (217 ft) tall
Architect Unknown
Architectural Style Mesoamerican pyramids
No. of Visitors Every Year Approximately 220,000
Governing Body Government Property (National Institute of Anthropology and History)
UNESCO World Heritage Site No, but part of the Cholula archaeological site
No. of Floors The pyramid is a solid structure without floors
Top Floor Not applicable
Inaugurated By Unknown

The Great Pyramid of Cholula, located in present-day Mexico, is renowned as the largest pyramid in the world by volume. Constructed by the ancient inhabitants of Mesoamerica, particularly the Aztecs, and Toltecs, it stands as a testament to their architectural and engineering prowess.

The pyramid, also known as Tlachihualtepetl, meaning “man-made mountain,” comprises several layers of construction, with each successive civilization adding to its height and grandeur.

Despite its massive size, much of the pyramid is concealed beneath layers of earth and vegetation, making it a natural hill. The Great Pyramid of Cholula was a religious and ceremonial center featuring temples dedicated to various deities.

Today, it remains a significant archaeological site, attracting visitors worldwide who marvel at its size, complexity, and historical importance.

Historical Information

What is the Origin and History of the Object/monument?

The Great Pyramid of Cholula, or Tlachihualtepetl, is an ancient Mesoamerican pyramid in Cholula, Puebla, Mexico. It is considered the largest pyramid in the world by volume.

The pyramid was built in several stages between the 3rd century BCE and the 9th century CE by the ancient indigenous peoples of the region, including the Olmecs, Toltecs, and Aztecs.

Who Built It, and When Was It Constructed?

The pyramid was built gradually over several centuries by the ancient indigenous peoples of the region, from the 3rd century BCE to the 9th century CE. The exact builders are still being determined, as various cultures constructed and modified the pyramid, including the Olmecs, Toltecs, and Aztecs.

What Was Its Purpose or Significance?

The Great Pyramid of Cholula was a religious and ceremonial center for ancient Mesoamerican cultures. It was dedicated to the god Quetzalcoatl and was a site for ritual offerings, ceremonies, and burials. The pyramid also symbolized the power and influence of the ruling elite and served as a center for political and social activities.

Physical Attributes

Where is It Located?

The Great Pyramid of Cholula is located in Cholula, in the state of Puebla, Mexico, approximately 8 km (5 miles) west of Puebla.

What Are Its Dimensions, Including Height, Area, and Design Features?

The pyramid measures approximately 450 meters by 450 meters (1,480 feet by 1,480 feet) at its base and stands 66 meters (217 feet) tall. It covers an area of about 45 hectares (111 acres), making it the largest pyramid in the world by volume. The pyramid comprises six superimposed structures, each built over an existing one, resulting in its unique layered design.

Is It a UNESCO World Heritage Site?

The Great Pyramid of Cholula is not a standalone UNESCO World Heritage Site. Still, it is part of Cholula’s more significant archaeological zone, which the Mexican government recognizes as a protected site. The archaeological zone is under consideration for UNESCO World Heritage status.

Architectural Details

What Materials Were Used in Its Construction?

The pyramid was constructed using adobe bricks, stone, and earth. The builders used a technique called “talud-tablero,” alternating sloping and vertical sections to create a stepped appearance.

How Many Floors Does It Have, and What Are Its Architectural Styles?

The Great Pyramid of Cholula is a solid structure without floors in the conventional sense. It comprises six superimposed pyramids, each built over the previous one. The pyramid showcases the Mesoamerican architectural style, characterized by its stepped design, use of adobe bricks, and stone facing.

Is It Known for Any Specific Design Elements or Aesthetics?

The pyramid is known for its unique layered construction, with each successive structure built over the existing one. This design resulted in a massive, stepped pyramid that blends into the surrounding landscape. The pyramid is also notable for incorporating the “talud-tablero” style, which creates a distinctive visual pattern.

Cultural and Tourist Aspects

What is Its Cultural Significance or Mythology?

The Great Pyramid of Cholula held significant religious and cultural significance for the ancient Mesoamerican peoples. It was dedicated to Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent deity associated with wind, air, and learning.

The pyramid was a center for religious ceremonies, offerings, and burials, and it played a crucial role in the social and political life of the ancient city of Cholula.

How Popular is It Among Tourists?

The Great Pyramid of Cholula attracts approximately 220,000 visitors annually. Tourists are drawn to its historical and cultural significance, impressive size, and unique design. The site also offers a museum, an archaeological park, and stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

What Events or Ceremonies Are Associated With It?

In ancient times, the pyramid was the site of numerous religious ceremonies, offerings, and sacrifices associated with worshipping Quetzalcoatl and other deities.

Today, the pyramid is the backdrop for the Cholula annual Cinco de Mayo celebration, commemorating the Battle of Puebla and showcasing local culture and traditions.

Economic Aspects

How Much Does It Earn From Tourism?

More data on the revenue generated from tourism at the Great Pyramid of Cholula is readily available. However, as a popular tourist attraction, it contributes significantly to the local economy through ticket sales, guided tours, and associated tourist activities.

What is Their Income Source?

The Great Pyramid of Cholula’s primary income sources are ticket sales, guided tours, and fees associated with the on-site museum and archaeological park. 

The site is managed by the National Institute of Anthropology and Historia (INAH), a government agency responsible for conserving, protecting, and promoting Mexico’s cultural heritage.

Conditions and Maintenance

What is Its Current Condition and Resistance to Natural Disasters?

The Great Pyramid of Cholula has withstood the test of time and remains in relatively good condition. However, like many ancient structures, it is vulnerable to natural disasters such as earthquakes and erosion.

The pyramid’s unique construction, with each successive structure built over the previous one, has contributed to its stability and resilience.

How is Its Maintenance Handled, and What Are the Challenges?

The National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) manages the maintenance and conservation of the Great Pyramid of Cholula. The main challenges include:

  • Preserving the pyramid’s structural integrity.
  • Protecting it from weathering and erosion.
  • Managing the impact of tourism.

Conservation efforts involve regular monitoring, repairs, and the implementation of protective measures to ensure the long-term preservation of the site.

Recognition and Awards

Has It Received Any Awards or Recognition Nationally or Internationally?

The Great Pyramid of Cholula has been recognized as the largest pyramid in the world by volume, a distinction that has garnered international attention.

While not a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is part of the larger Cholula archaeological zone, considered a protected site by the Mexican government and under consideration for UNESCO status.

What Are the Notable Features That Have Earned It Acclaim?

The pyramid’s most notable features include its impressive size, unique layered construction, and incorporation of the “talud-tablero” architectural style.

Its historical and cultural significance as a center of religious and ceremonial activity for ancient Mesoamerican cultures has also contributed to its acclaim and popularity among visitors and scholars alike.


The Great Pyramid of Cholula – largest pyramid in the world, a testament to the ingenuity and craftsmanship of ancient civilizations, holds a unique place in history as the largest pyramid in the world by volume.

Its immense size and cultural significance are not just records of the past but also serve as a reminder of the remarkable achievements of past societies and the enduring legacy of their architectural marvels as largest pyramid in the world.

Through preservation and continued study, this monumental structure inspires awe and admiration. It invites visitors to explore its mysteries and uncover the secrets of the ancient world, fostering a deep respect and reverence for its historical, cultural, and spiritual significance.

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