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[photo] Montezuma Castle National Monument
National Park Service photo by Richard Frear
Montezuma Castle was built by prehistoric Sinagua Indians in the early 1100s and received its name from Anglo-American settlers who believed, mistakenly, that it had been built by Aztec Indians. Situated in a cliff recess 100 feet above the Verde valley, Montezuma Castle is a five-story pueblo with 20 rooms similar in style to the many Anasazi dwellings found throughout the Southwest. Nearby is Castle A, a 45-room pueblo built at the base of the cliff. Montezuma Well, just north of the pueblos, is a large limestone sink that was used as a source of water for irrigation by the pueblo inhabitants. In the early 1400s the valley was vacated for unknown reasons.

Montezuma Castle National Monument, administered by the National Park Service, is north of Camp Verde, Arizona, off I-17. A self-guided tour is available. A Visitors Center and museum are open daily from 8:00am to 7:00pm during the summer and 8:00am to 5:00pm during the rest of the year. Please call 928-567-3322, or visit the park's website for further information.


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