On November 8, 1519, Hernán Cortés entered the magnificent Aztec city of Tenochtitlán in present-day Mexico. The stone city had intricately structured canals, bridges, and floating gardens. However, Cortés had not come to the city to admire its beauty. He and his soldiers arrived to conquer it and plunder its gold. In order to achieve his goal, Cortés went to battle with Montezuma, the great Aztec ruler. When the bloody fighting ended, Cortés began building a new Spanish colony that would change the course of history in Mexico.