Centro Histórico (Historic Downtown)
The single most important cultural heritage on this continent.
Centro Histórico is the birthplace of Mexico City - the oldest capital in the Americas - dating back to 1325 when the Aztecs founded the city of Tenochtitlan in a small barren island in the margins of Texcoco Lake.
Today is replete with historical buildings and monuments, museums, restaurants, shops and markets.
Centro Histórico covers an area of 9.1 square kilometers. This area comprises 688 city blocks. It means more than 1,900 important civil and religious buildings (architecturally and/or historically relevant buildings) built between the 16th and 20th centuries, clustered in and around El Zócalo (Constitution Square) and La Alameda (Alameda Park), few short blocks away. There are also amazing ruins dating back to the Aztec Empire.
Be sure that history is most perceptible as you walk the Historic Center!
At the present time the Centro Histórico has problems with urban, economic and social deterioration. The causes have their origin around 1950.
The intensive use of the public space is one of the urban characteristics of the Historical Center and also one of the causes of its deterioration. Is calculated that, at least, a million people transit daily that way and has serious traffic problems.
On the other hand, Centro Histórico is experiencing a renaissance under an aggressive program to improve facilities, services and the overall ambience along the Reforma-Zocalo Corridor.
On December 9, 1987 the plenary session of the UNESCO Committee for World Heritage, based in Paris, France, voted unanimously to designate Centro Histórico as a Universal Heritage.
An event which receives outstanding support from the general public is the Historic Downtown Festival held each year. It has as its purpose the promotion and presentation of cultural acts from countries around the world within the unique setting of Centro Histórico.
Fondest memory: Foundation, glory, conquest, liberty, revolution, decadence… A living tribute to the history of Mexico.
Corredor Turístico Reforma-Zócalo-Basílica
During the mid-19th Century, Mexico City experienced painful encounters with the imperialism conduct of the United States of America and Eurpean countries, suffering invasions by North American and French forces.
During the latter intervention, a new urban model was proposed by the administration of Archduke Maximilian of Hapsburg (Habsburg, Austria): the construction of an avenue which would communicate Mexico City, starting from the Bucareli roundabout, with his new residence: Chapultepec Castle.
Laid out diagonally and originally named Avenida del Emperador (Emperor's Avenue), it was conceived as an ample, 12 kilometer (9 miles) long boulevard.
When you walk along this boulevard, you will see monuments honoring important moments in Mexico's history were erected during 'Porfiriato' (President Porfirio Diaz rule).
Also, along its central extension stand fine examples of architecture, ancient residential areas now transformed into fashionable venues, banks, offices, embassies, luxury hotels, restaurants, museums, exclusive art galleries and spectacular monuments.
Reforma extends even further being, as it is, one of the longest avenues in the city, full of social contrasts.
It's a nice urban tour in the city, specially improved-developed for tourists by the actual administration with $33.5 millions USD for new pavement, sidewalks, illuminations and park improvement along Reforma Av.
In Centro Histórico (Historic Downtown) to improve water-supply, sewer system, gas-main, electric and telephone grid, and to renovate facades and improve security services.
Important businessmen and companies invest $2,000 millions USD for 10 corporative projects on Reforma Av. and Centro Histórico.
- From the platform of Torre Latinoamericana you have an excellent view over the city ... depending on the weather conditions. Best view on windy days and unforgetable when the sun goes down, and the city's lights are switched on poco a poco.
Also great views of México offer:
- "Hotel de México" which is higher than the Torre
- The terrace of "Hotel Majestic" on the western side of the Zócalo. This is also a great place to watch a concert down there!
Favorite thing: Here's a link to a good online, interactive, map of the Federal District ("Distrito Federal") and Mexico City. Click on the map and a "zoom" feature will engage. I hope you find this as helpful as I have. Copy and paste this into your "address bar": http://www.maps-of-mexico.com/distrito-federal-df-mexico/mexico-df-distrito-federal-mexico-map-main.shtml
It is moderate in winter, warm and dry during the months of April and May. The rainy season begins in May and ends around October and generally consists of sunny mornings followed by cloudy afternoons with rain. Mornings and nights may be cold, especially during the winter. The average temperature is 15°C.
It is recommended to use comfortable clothing and footwear during the day, although at some locations formal attire is required both during the day and at night.
- Mexico City is the largest city in the country, and the 2nd the largest in the world with a population of the metro area of over 20,000.
-It sits an evelation of 2,240 metres above sea level.
-It is coloquillay known by Mexicans as "D.F." which means "distrito federal" - federal district.
-It is the most economically and industrially important city in the country, and for that reason it holds a lot of the country's wealth. It is home to some of the most important universities, museums, monuments and stadiums in the world. It is also rich with gastronomy and culture.
Favorite thing: The peso is the official currency. Most international credit cards, as well as all Traveller's Cheques are welcome. It is possible to change US Dollars in all banks and at most prestigious hotels. In some establishments US Dollars are accepted. There are also Money Exchange Houses where you can exchange just about any currency for Pesos. Most banking institutions open from 9:00 to 4:00pm, but HSBC closes at 7:00 pm.
When you go to mexico (chiapas ) you absolutely must learn to know the local people but remember it is useful that you learn to speak Spanish. Only few of the people can speak English.
Fondest memory: My fondest memory was the visit we made to a house were indians live. They were making toys and clothes.
Favorite thing: see Tulum (7 km. north of Maya Tulum) which is the largest Maya construction built on the coast. Today it is Mexico's most visited pre-Hispanic site. This royal city, perched on limestone cliffs, is worth a visit because of the magnificent view and the charm of its buildings.
Mexico City, the megalopolis, the heart of the nation, modern and cosmopolitan.
Mexico City is today one of the largest urban complexes around the planet, is an unique blend of past and present and an irresistible temptation.
No body, local or visitor, leaves the city untouched by its colorful markets, imposing architecture, mysterious ruins, or bustling plazas and parks...
Fondest memory: Is very difficult to choose only one thing that you must see in Mexico City.
In any case, in the Xochimilco canals, the last vestige of the ancient Mexico-Tenochtitlan, you will see how the aztecs build plots of land in the lake to stablish the Aztec capital and feed the empire... Really interesting.
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