Essential Places To Visit In Mexico City
Here are the essential places to visit in Mexico City. The selection is made using the FavRiver scoring system which takes into account the most relevant metrics and expert reviews.
Last update : Jun 29, 2019
1National Museum Of Anthropology (mexico)
The National Museum of Anthropology (Spanish: Museo Nacional de Antropología, MNA) is a national museum of Mexico. It is the largest and most visited museum in Mexico. Located in the area between Paseo de la Reforma and Mahatma Gandhi Street within Chapultepec Park in Mexico City, the museum contains significant archaeological and anthropological artifacts from Mexico's pre-Columbian heritage, such as the Stone of the Sun (or the Aztec calendar stone) and the Aztec Xochipilli statue.
The museum (along with many other Mexican national and regional museums) is managed by the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (National Institute of Anthropology and History), or INAH. It was one of several museums opened by Mexican President Adolfo López Mateos in 1964..
Assessments of the museum vary, with one considering it "a national treasure and a symbol of identity. The museum is the synthesis of an ideological, scientific, and political feat." Octavio Paz criticized the museum's making the Mexica (Aztec) hall central, saying the "exaltation and glorification of Mexico-Tenochtitlan transforms the Museum of Anthropology into a temple."
National Museum of Anthropology (Mexico) - Essential Places To Visit In Mexico City
2Zócalo
The Zócalo (Spanish pronunciation: ['so.ka.lo]) is the common name of the main square in central Mexico City. Prior to the colonial period, it was the main ceremonial center in the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan. The plaza used to be known simply as the "Main Square" or "Arms Square", and today its formal name is Plaza de la Constitución (Constitution Square). This name does not come from any of the Mexican constitutions that have governed the country but rather from the Cádiz Constitution which was signed in Spain in the year 1812. Even so, it is almost always called the Zócalo today. Plans were made to erect a column as a monument to Independence, but only the base, or zócalo (meaning "plinth") was built. The plinth was buried long ago but the name has lived on. Many other Mexican towns and cities, such as Oaxaca, Mérida and Guadalajara, have adopted the word zócalo to refer to their main plazas, but not all.
It has been a gathering place for Mexicans since Aztec times, having been the site of Mexica ceremonies, the swearing in of viceroys, royal proclamations, military parades, Independence ceremonies and modern religious events such as the festivals of Holy Week and Corpus Christi. It has received foreign heads of state and is the main venue for both national celebration and national protest. The Zocalo and surrounding blocks have played a central role in the city's planning and geography for almost 700 years. The site is just one block southwest of the Templo Mayor which, according to Aztec legend and mythology, was considered the center of the universe.
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Zócalo - Essential Places To Visit In Mexico City
3Templo Mayor
The Templo Mayor (Spanish for "[the] Greater Temple") was the main temple of the Mexica peoples in their capital city of Tenochtitlan, which is now Mexico City. Its architectural style belongs to the late Postclassic period of Mesoamerica. The temple was called the Huēyi Teōcalli [we:ˈi teoːˈkali] in the Nahuatl language. It was dedicated simultaneously to Huitzilopochtli, god of war, and Tlaloc, god of rain and agriculture, each of which had a shrine at the top of the pyramid with separate staircases. The spire in the center of the adjacent image was devoted to Quetzalcoatl in his form as the wind god, Ehecatl. The Great Temple devoted to Huitzilopochtli and Tlaloc, measuring approximately 100 by 80 m (328 by 262 ft) at its base, dominated the Sacred Precinct. Construction of the first temple began sometime after 1325, and it was rebuilt six times. The temple was destroyed by the Spanish in 1521 to make way for the new cathedral.
The Zócalo, or main plaza of Mexico City today, was developed to the southwest of this archeological site, which is located in the block between Seminario and Justo Sierra streets. The site is part of the Historic Center of Mexico City, which was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1987. It received 801,942 visitors in 2017.
Templo Mayor - Essential Places To Visit In Mexico City
4Tenochtitlan
Tenochtitlan (Nahuatl languages: Tenōchtitlan pronounced [tenoːt͡ʃˈtit͡ɬan]; Spanish: Tenochtitlán), also known as Mexica-Tenochtitlan (Nahuatl languages: Mēxihco Tenōchtitlan pronounced [meːˈʃiʔko tenoːt͡ʃˈtit͡ɬan]; Spanish: México-Tenochtitlán), was a large Mexica city-state in what is now the center of Mexico City. The exact date of the founding of the city is unclear, but the most commonly accepted date is March 13, 1325. The city was built on an island in what was then Lake Texcoco in the Valley of Mexico. The city was the capital of the expanding Aztec Empire in the 15th century until it was captured by the Spanish in 1521.
At its peak, it was the largest city in the pre-Columbian Americas. It subsequently became a cabecera of the Viceroyalty of New Spain. Today, the ruins of Tenochtitlan are in the historic center of the Mexican capital. The World Heritage Site of Xochimilco contains what remains of the geography (water, boats, floating gardens) of the Mexica capital.
Tenochtitlan was one of two Mexica āltēpetl (city-states or polities) on the island, the other being Tlatelolco.
Tenochtitlan - Essential Places To Visit In Mexico City
5Palacio De Bellas Artes
The Palacio de Bellas Artes (Palace of Fine Arts) is a prominent cultural center in Mexico City. It has hosted some of the most notable events in music, dance, theatre, opera and literature and has held important exhibitions of painting, sculpture and photography. Consequently, the Palacio de Bellas Artes has been called the "Cathedral of Art in Mexico". The building is located on the western side of the historic center of Mexico City next to the Alameda Central park.
The first National Theater of Mexico was built in the late 19th century, but it was soon decided to tear this down in favor of a more opulent building in time for Centennial of the Mexican War of Independence in 1910. The initial design and construction was undertaken by Italian architect Adamo Boari in 1904, but complications arising from the soft subsoil and the political problem both before and during the Mexican Revolution, hindered then stopped construction completely by 1913. Construction began again in 1932 under Mexican architect Federico Mariscal and was completed in 1934. The exterior of the building is primarily Neoclassical and Art Nouveau and the interior is primarily Art Deco. The building is best known for its murals by Diego Rivera, Siqueiros and others, as well as the many exhibitions and theatrical performances its hosts, including the Ballet Folklórico de México.
Palacio de Bellas Artes - Essential Places To Visit In Mexico City
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