Civitates Orbis Terrarum, the first systematic city atlas, depicts cities from around the world, including these two in the Americas. The view of Tenochtitlán, the Aztec capital (site of the present Mexico City) that astonished the conquistadors when they first saw it, is based on a map in the letters of Hernán Cortés (1485–1547) published in 1524.
Important sites are included, such as the marketplace, the sacrificial temple, and palace of Moctezuma. The view is paired with one of Cusco, Peru, the capital city of the Inca Empire. The representation of Cusco shows the square bordered by the Inca palace, the great temple and the homes of senior dignitaries, from which four roads led to the most remote corners of the Inca empire. Dignitaries of the respective empires are depicted in the foreground of each view.