October 12, 2019 until August 16, 2020

The exhibition

The Great National Exhibition, on the occasion of the 500. commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the landing of the Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés in the Gulf of Mexico, opens a new, in-depth look at the culture of the Aztecs. Beginning with the periphery of the Aztec Empire (ca. 1430 – 1521 AD) and the natural and cultural diversity of Mexico, we approach the interior of the empire and its capital Tenochtitlan. The focus of this part of the exhibition is on two of the four surviving Aztec feather shields in the world and a high-quality greenstone figurine. After passing through the imperial palace of Emperor Moctezuma, the visitor enters the innermost part of the empire: the sacred district with the main temple, Templo Mayor. The tributes that the Aztec Empire imposed on its conquered provinces serve as a guide for the exhibition. They flowed to Tenochtitlan and in large numbers on to the Templo Mayor, as offerings to the gods.

An accomplished art

The Aztec stone sculptures captivate with their naturalistic and detailed representation, often combined with calendar signs, characteristics of certain deities or the combination of different gods. Valuable mosaic masks, feather work and gold jewelry give an idea of the splendor the conquistadors found at the court of the Aztec ruler. A separate thematic section is devoted to the colorful illuminated manuscripts. As a special feature, the exhibition can present the latest research and excavation results. The Templo Mayor excavation project, as well as the attached museum, provide us with recently discovered offerings that have never been exhibited before.

Top-class lenders

The exhibition presents some 150 high-caliber loans from Mexican and European museums. Lenders are the Museo Templo Mayor and the Museo Nacional de Antropología in Mexico City, the Musées royaux d’Art et d’Histoire (Brussels), the National Museum of Denmark (Copenhagen), the Tropenmuseum (Amsterdam), the Museum Volkenkunde (Leiden), the Museum der Kulturen Basel, the Weltmuseum Wien, the Museum am Rothenbaum (Hamburg), the Museum Weltkulturen (Mannheim), the Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum (Cologne) and Schloss Friedenstein (Gotha).

Particularly noteworthy are the two feather shields and the greenstone figurine from the Württemberg State Museum, which will be on display for the first time in the context of Aztec culture.

“Aztecs” is an exhibition of the Linden Museum Stuttgart in cooperation with the Nationaal Museum van Wereldculturen (Netherlands).

The exhibition is under the patronage of German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

Azteken, ed. by Kurella, Doris, Berger, Martin and de Castro, Inés, in cooperation with the Insituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (INAH), Mexico. Munich: Hirmer, 360 p., numerous ill. color. Fig. and graphics, EUR 29.90
Link: to the online store

Sponsored by: State of Baden-Württtemberg
In cooperation with: Secretaria de Cultura del Gobierno de México , INAH, Museo Nacional de Antropologia (Mexico City), Museo Templo Mayor (Mexico City).
With friendly support: Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe
Media partner: Damals – The Magazine for History

Ever since humans discovered and settled the island worlds in the Pacific thousands of years ago, there have been many connections between the widely scattered land areas in the largest sea on earth.


In cooperation with:
Eberhard Karls University Tübingen, China Center Tübingen, HFT Stuttgart

With kind support:

Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Karl Schlecht Stiftung, Tübinger Vereinigung für Volkskunde e.V., Universitätsbund Tübingen e. V., Stiftung Landesbank Baden-Württemberg, Netzwerk transformierender Lehre in Baden-Württemberg, Verein Freunde Hochschule für Technik Stuttgart