El Zócalo in Mexico City
El Zócalo is Mexico City’s central plaza in its historic district and one of the largest squares in the world. Since the times of the Aztecs, el Zócalo has been the center of the city under its former name of Tenochtitlan. After the Spanish conquest and destruction of Tenochtitlan, the city and plaza were redesigned using much of the stone from original Aztec structures.
|El Zocalo can hold about 100,000 people, and the Mexican flag is ceremoniously raised and lowered each day. (Photo: zine.starkcrew.com)|
Today the Zócalo is bordered by the Metropolitan Cathedral, the National Palace, and the Federal District buildings, shops and cafes, and off to the side is an original Aztec temple. The plaza is also the center for government political rallies, a popular space for protests, makeshift camps and vendor stalls, artistic and cultural events, and he spring equinox and independence day celebrations.
El Templo Mayor
El Templo Mayor is one of the main Aztec temples of Tenochtitlan dedicated to two gods, Huitzilopochtli, god of war, and Tlaloc, god of rain and agriculture. The temple was rebuilt six times, each new temple was built over the last with all stages are clearly visible on the ruins.
|Dancers in el Zócalo.|
Metropolitan Cathedral of the Assumption of Mary
|(Photo: Francisco Diez)|
With a whopping 16 chapels, 2 bell towers, 25 bells, two opulent altars, and two of the largest 18th-century organs in the Americas, the massive Metropolitan Cathedral is the largest and oldest cathedrals in the Americas and one of the most impressive churches I´ve visited. It is situated above the former Aztec sacred precinct once considered the center of the universe, and has undergone considerable sinking making the list of 100 Most Endangered Sites.
The National Palace
The mammoth National Palace is built over the site of Moctezuma II’s Palace. You can take a stroll through parts of the Palace for a view of the lavish presidential rooms, Spanish courtyards and fountains, as well as enter the Benito Juarez Museum. A number of Diego Rivera’s murals are located in the palace depicting the barbaric horrors of Spanish conquest.
We’ve just completed the April A to Z Challenge with this post! See how we did on the challenge here: Favorite Travel Destinations