Monuments, Mexico City
Favorite thing: The first thing we saw, as we left our hotel the first morning was the monument of Christoffel Columbus, or Christobal Colon, as they name him here in Mexico. Well that was a good reference point for all our further walking tours we would make in the coming days.
...more than any other. The Monument to the Heroes of Independence. Not to overstate the obvious then, but this one honors those who lost their lives in the fight for, mmmm, independence. It's the perfect landmark at which to arrange to meet your friends if you should become separated in the melee of Mexico City. Thank goodness, that never happened with us. Phewww.
Fondest memory: Just find the grand Reforma blvd. If you're not standing in front of this monument at the time, just turn one direction or the other, you soon will be.
Favorite thing: This modern monument is named El Caballito (little horse). It is 28 meters high and weight : 26 tons. Note also that in the font of the picture, you see people selling all kind of stuff along the streets.
SEE EL ANGEL
...The picture shows it, there it is and in perfect condition and proud to still symbolize the great city :-)!
Brief facts on the monument:
* Architects: R. Mercado and E. Alciati
* Base is marble from Italy and angel is bronze covered with gold-leaves
* Symbol of Mexico's battle for independence from Spain
* Finished in 1910, the construction lasted 8 years
* Height: 36 meters (118 feet)
* Inside the monument: skulls of the heroes
I remember being very exited flying from Cancun to Mexico City knowing that it's the largest city in the World and located so high above sea level 2400 m (7872 feet). I was wondering if the air is breathable not only from air pollution but high altitude.
Will I got a headache, feel dizzy and how cold it's gonna be?
It's true that the flight over Mexico City's urban area lasted very long and I started to wonder when we ever find that landing spot among that densely habitated area!
We did land successfully and none of my apprehentions did realize not even that so feared Cozuma's Revenge (LOL).
Favorite thing: In front of the National Museum (formally the Palace of Communications), you find the equestrian monument to King Charles IV of Spain. This work of Tolsá, was cast in 1803. The statue was originally intended to stand on the centre of the Plaza Mayor. Ever since it was unveiled, it has been popularly known as “El Caballito” (Little Horse).
Favorite thing: Now, before “El Caballito” placed in front of the National Museum it was standing first on the busy crossing of Reforma, Bucarelli, Guerrero and Juárez streets. It was under pressure of the people that “El Caballito” removed to the front of the National Museum. The “Little Horse” went on this corner a modern monument, called. “Torre El Caballito”. Well, the first time I saw it I thought it was a chicken, my girlfriend was thinking about an elephant. If this is modern art, give me the classical art please ;-)
Favorite thing: The Alameda Park near the Palace of Fine Arts is a very nice place to relax and having a good walk. It is in the middle of the centre, so it is not far walking to have a bit of peace and sunbathing after a good lunch or other activity. It is much closer then the new Chapultepec Park that have more facilities (see further).
On the left side of the Alameda Park you find the Hemicycle, a monument that was build in honour of Benito Juárez. The architect, Guillermo Heredia, choose with Carrara marble for it.
Note: Carrara is a city in Italy, region of Toscana and is famous about their marble.
See more pictures of this monument in my Hemicycle travelogue please.
Favorite thing: September 19th 1985 at 7.20 a.m. was a black day for Mexico City as an earthquake made many victims. This earthquake had killed 20,000 people, injured over 40,000 people, and left 50,000 to 90,000 homeless. This earthquake had the magnitude of 8.1. The two plates that were involved were the Coco's Plate and the North American Plate. The Coco's Plate had slipped under the lighter North American Plate. It snapped 19 kilometres below the Earth's surface. Mexico City sits on top of a dried up lakebed. This made the ground softer which had caused more destruction. In addition, the constant shaking of the ground might explain why residents ignored the foreshock that preceded the earthquake. The day after on September 20th 1985 another earthquake followed. Behind the Alameda Park, standing five or six hotels (if my information is right) that destroyed until the ground. The solidarity under the people was so big to help each other, because almost everyone lost some family member or a friend. After a month, the hope on survivors was lost and the government decided to make a square over the several bodies that were still under the ruins. They called the square “Square of Solidarity”, and now still homeless people live there on the square in tents. The picture you see here is the “Monument of Solidarity”. I do not know the whole story yet, but I gave it here as much as I know. It was even hard to take pictures of this square and was thinking by do this or not. Finally, I was thinking that even it was not a terrorist attack like in New York (11 September 2001) but a natural disaster; the world may not forget these victims either. More pictures and info you find in my Solidarity travelogue.
The many layers of history accumulated plus the capital-city status have provided a large amount of statues and monuments to be found everywhere in the city.
Paseo de la Reforma Avenue offers an historical stroll from the Centro Historico to Chapultepec park as the traffic circles commemorate historical events: The discovery of America in the first circle, with the monument to Columbus; the conquest of Mexico in the second circle, with the monument to Cuauhtemoc (the last Aztec emperor, who defended the city against the spanish); the third circle is for the colonial period, but since that is still a taboo in Mexico, there is only a palm tree; Independence monument is located in the fourth traffic circle. 36 statues along the avenue between these circles honor other significant Mexican personalities.
Reforma's central section ends at the beginning of Chapultepec Park. After the gate, flanked by two lion sculptures, the main path moves toward the Altar de la Patria monument, which remembers the Mexican army who fought against the U.S. invasion of 1847. Inside Chapultepec park there are many sculptures, fountains and memorials.
Favorite thing: The Paseo de la ReformaTake the time to walk part of it, drive the rest. You will find along this long boulevard, monuments located in numerous roundabout every 1/4 miles. Including the Independence monument, the Independence Angel, the fountain of Diana, the monument to the Revolution of 1910, the Cuanhtémoc statue (last aztec emporor), etc...
Throughout our jurney, architecture and landcape competed for " Most Likely to Take
Your Breath Away" honors and I'm still not able to declare a winner.
Favorite thing: This disparity was the fuel for the Mexican War for Independence, which began in a town in the Colonial Heartland called Dolores Hidalgo .
Favorite thing: Many groups of statues stand in the Alameda Park. This one is of the Danaids who according to classical mythology strive in vain to fill their pitchers with water to purify themselves.