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Castle National Monument
Castle National Monument is located in Yavapai County, Arizona in USA. Montezuma Castle was rediscovered in the
late 19th century. It was mistakenly linked to the last Aztec emperor
Montezuma II who was killed by the Spaniards in the 16th century.
However Montezuma Castle cliff- dwelling
has a simpler and less romantic history. It was constructed by Sinagua
people who occupied it from the 8th till 15th century and did not actually
use it as defensive fortification. This ancient apartment building merely
used natural cliffs and adobe walls to keep people inside cool
and shaded from the sun rays. Additionally wild animals couldn't
get to the individual members of the tribe. The structure of
Montezuma Castle is a five story complex that contains 20 rooms.
People who lived here could climb their cliff homes via ladders that
could be removed if enemies approached the settlement. This is not
the only dwelling in this national park. Remains of several cliff
dwellings are spread out through out the area surrounding Montezuma
Castle. Sinagua tribe
left the site for unknown reasons. Some blamed it on changing
climate that made agriculture impossible. Other blame it on
newly arrived Yavapai tribes that came here.
Montezuma Castle National Monument is located off
the Interstate 17, exit 287. There is a parking area next to
Montezuma Castle Visitor Center. From there you can walk for 1/4 miles down the
paved trail to the actual site.