The Mysterious Ruins of Montezuma Castle in Arizona

The cliff dwelling of Montezuma Castle is on Montezuma Castle Road, residing in the Coconino National Forest and part of the Montezuma Castle National Monument, in the town of Camp Verde, Arizona.

Classified as ‘abandoned’ since it is no longer used for the original purpose, lies the fantastic cliff dwelling of Montezuma Castle. Resting on the cliffs of the Verde Valley and intertwined within the 1.9 million acre Coconino National Forest, the Montezuma Castle is believed to have been built around 700 AD. Crafted by the Pre-Columbian Sinagua people and topping 5 stories, it is believed to have taken 5 centuries to complete this dwelling. Proving to be brave builders, the Sinaqua, used ladders to carve into the limestone cliff of the Verde Valley, which proved a difficult attacking area for enemy tribes. Drought, warfare and clashes with locals created during a time span of 700 AD and 1425 AD, created a place to live that eventually became desolate.

Thorough research of why the habitat was abandoned is not yet clear but several theories have been suggested for the 5 story 20 room dwelling. Declared a National Monument Site in 1906 with a discovery of Montezuma Castle in 1933 which revealed detailed history of the Sinagua tribe due to the increased knowledge of the Sinagua way of life.

Erroneously named Montezuma Castle due to the dwellings discovery in 1860’s which were thought to have been connected in construction to the Aztec emperor Montezuma II. The monuments name is not correct in any aspect as it was abandoned 100 years before Montezuma was born and was not built as a castle at all.

Where is the abandoned cliff dwelling of Montezuma Castle located? You can find it with these coordinates. 34.612087,-111.841709.

All images used under Creative Common License Attribution Non Commercial 2.0 Generic. All images by BellaEatsBooks / Flickr.

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