Montezuma Castle In essence, Montezuma Castle is a twenty-room high-rise apartment building inhabited 1,000 years ago by the Sinagua people, who were part of the Anasazi (or Ancient Pueblo Peoples) group. It isn’t really a castle and it has nothing to do with the great Aztec king Montezuma. These ruins were discovered by Europeans in the 1860s, and they chose the name in error, thinking the ruins had something to do with the Aztec Empire in Mexico.
Montezuma Castle is one of a number of well-preserved ancient dwellings in north central Arizona, including the Wupatki, Tonto, Walnut Canyon, and Tuzigoot national monuments. It is probably the most spectacular; an imposing 20 room, 5-story structure built into a recess in a white limestone cliff about 70 feet above the ground.