Xelhua, one of the seven giants rescued from the deluge, built the great pyramid of Cholula in order to storm heaven.
They were the builders of the pyramids of Cholula and Teotihuacan, near the city of Mexico, and of Papantla, Huatusco and Tuzapan, in Vera Cruz.
North of the national capital, and it is not improbable that the people of Cholula, Texcoco and Tlaxcala at the time of the Spanish invasion were occupying the sites of older Toltec towns.
The principal cities of Mexico, other than the capitals above mentioned, are as follows, the populations being those of 1900 except when otherwise stated: Acapulco (pop. 4932), a famous port on the Pacific coast in Guerrero, which was wrecked by the earthquake of 1909; Carmen, or Laguna de Terminos (about 6000), a thriving commercial town and port on the Gulf coast in Campeche; Celaya (2 5,5 6 5), a railway centre and manufacturing town of Guanajuato; Ciudad Guzman, or Zapotlan (about 17,500), an interesting old town of Jalisco; Cholula (about 9000), an ancient native town of Puebla, widely known for its great pyramid; Comitan (9316), the commercial centre of Chiapas; Cordoba (7974 in 1895), a picturesque Spanish town in the sierras of Vera Cruz; Cuautla (6269), the centre of a rich sugar-producing district of Morelos; Guaymas (8648), a flourishing port of Sonora on the Gulf of California; Leon (62,623), the largest city in Guanajuato and distinguished for its commercial activity, manufactures and wealth; Linares (20,690), the second city of Nuevo Leon in size and importance; Matamoros (8347), a prominent commercial centre and river port of Tamaulipas; Mazatlan (17,852), the foremost Mexican port on the Pacific coast; Orizaba (32,894), a city of Vera Cruz famous for its delightful climate and picturesque surroundings; Parral (14,748), a well-known mining centre of southern Chihuahua; San Cristobal (about 16,00o), once capital of Chiapas and rich in historical associations; Tampico (16,313), a Gulf port and railway terminus of Tamaulipas; Tehuantepec (10,386), the largest town on the Tehuantepec railway in Oaxaca; Vera Cruz (29,164), the oldest and best known Gulf port of Mexico.
To this nation was due the introduction of maize and cotton into Mexico, the skilful workmanship in gold and silver, the art of building on a scale of vastness still witnessed to by the mound of Cholula, said to be Toltec work, and the Mexican hieroglyphic writing and calendar.
Legend tells stories of his teaching men picture-writing and the calendar, and also the artistic work of the silversmith, for which Cholula was long famed; but at last he departed, some say towards the unknown land of Tlapallan, but others to Coatzacoalcos on the Atlantic coast on the confines of Central America, where native tradition still keeps up the divine names of Gucumatz among the Quiches and Cukulcan among the Mayas, these names have the same meaning as Quetzalcoati.
Between him and Quetzalcoatl, the ancient deity of Cholula, there had been old rivalry.
The great pyramid of Cholula with its hemispherical temple of Quetzalcoatl at the top, now an almost shapeless hill surmounted by a church, was about thrice as long and twice as high as the teocalli of Mexico.