Zocalo, Mexico City
Zocalo is the largest scuare in the Western Hemisphere. The square was once part of Tenochtitlan, the political and religious hub of the Aztec Empire.
Over the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries the Spaniards built exquisite mansion and public structures from the stones of the stones of the Aztec temples that they had destroyed.
Today, Zocalo is the heart of Mexico City with shops, cantinas, street vendors, and some surviving historic structures.
zocalo,one of the nicest and oldest place in the world,with a great architectural uniformity.
cortes (conquistador)decided the center of the new spanish city had to be risen here,on the site of the aztec market (south of holy aztec city of tenochtitlan).
stones of aztec pyramids were used to build churches and monuments,and to pave the place.
inside palacio nacional (center of national government),built on montezuma palace site,you may see great diego rivera frescoes
representing mexican history.
why "zocalo"? zocalo means "pedestal,base".
carlos IV base on the place was empty for a long time....
in a wider sense,all the mexican main squares,are called,now,zocalo!
Fondest memory: the mixture of peoples and their activities....
Go head first to visit Downtown and while you get there be sure to take Reforma Avenue to have a glimpse of Mexican traffic culture. Once in downtown visit the 'Palacio de Bellas Artes', y el Parque de la Alameda, take a touristic trainway (the tour guide only speaks spanish), visit the Torre Latinoamericana from where you can have a view from the city, from there walk along calle 5 de mayo towards Zocalo where the huge mexican flag will welcome. Have a look at the Cathedral and the Museo del Templo Mayor where you can see what remains of a piramid of Tenochtitlan in the city center.
Here I am in the same place but with the Palacio Nacionál in the background.
The Zócalo is the main public plaza of Mexico DF. During the 16th and 17th centuries the Spaniards ereted their main institutions around the plaza, which is built on the site of Tenochtitlán.
You should visit the Historic center in Mexico City. The Zocalo, which is the main square in the city, it is huge and it's surrounded by the Cathedral, the Presidential House, and many other historic buildings with a beautiful architecture. The Murals inside the Presidential House or 'Palacio de Gobierno' are amazing, describe the story of Mexico very well...Look for a good guide! you can choose the one you like more! There are plenty of them. You have to visit also the 'Palacio Nacional de Bellas Artes' it is a beautiful structure, very close from the Zocalo. Take a 'Bicitaxi' you can found a lot of them in the Zocalo, they are cheaper and you enjoy more the scenary of the city. The Teotihuacan Ruins is another historic place you can not miss while visiting Mexico City. This Aztec Ruins are located just a few minutes away from the city.
Fondest memory: My visit to the Teotihuacan Ruins is unforgettable, it is amazing the majestuosity of the piramides constructed by the Aztecs. You should visit them sometime.
Favorite thing: Take a look to the old downtown, known as the Centro Historico (literally, historical center). It has high-quality baroque, neoclassical and eclectic architecture and many of the city's best museums; it also has the most charming authentic-mexican food restaurants. Many relevant buildings can be found around squares: Constitution square (Plaza de la Constitucion, El Zocalo) has the Cathedral, Sagrario (Cathedral's parish church), Palacio Nacional (Presidency building) and the City hall twin buildings; Santo Domingo square has its homonym temple and the Inquisition Building; Tolsa square, the Mining college, central post ofice and the National Museum of Mexican Art (Museo Nacional de Arte).
Go to the Zocalo. Try going there in the morning for the flag raising of Mexico's largest flag. In the evening it's also awesome. The cathedrals and palaces are all brightly lit up. Zocalo was the epicenter of ancient Aztec Mexico until the Spanish razed it down to build this spacious plaza.
Fondest memory: Driving up and down the Paseo de la Reforma. What a handsome avenue this is. It's looks more like a park than a thoroughfare. I like the monuments strategically placed at every major intersection. This is Mexico City's Champs Elysee and the traffic ain't too bad.
Visit the National Palace (also on the Constitution Square), today the seat of the highest powers of the Mexican government. It was originally build as a residence for viceroys. This historical building, erected in 1523 became the official residence of the conqueror Hernan Cortez. Its fortress type construction in Toscan style architecture was in trusted to architects the architects Rodrigo de Pontesillos and Juan Rodriguez. The vice-regal apartments, the second for the royal high court, the third for me state exchequer and the four for the royal chapel. After destroyed partially in the 1692 riots, it was rebuild in 1693 date of the existing buildings first and second levels. The third level was set back in 1927 as anti-aesthetic. It was the home of Mexican kings, private property of the conqueror Cortez, seat of the colonial government, dwelling of viceroys and emperors, and finally came to the presidents of Mexico. The stonework in this palace is a mute witness of the Mexican history.
More info and pictures you find in the “National Palace travelogue ”.
Favorite thing: Visit the Plaza de la Constitución (Constitution Square), popularly known as the “Zócalo”. The Constitution Square is the second large one in the world, behind the Red Square in Moscow. It is also the square you can find the Cathedral of Mexico City, Metropolitan Sagrarium and the National Palace. More pictures you find in the “Plaza de la Constitución travelogue ”. That is on the upper right corner on this page ;-)
See the Zocalo! The second largest public square in the world. This is where the Cathedral is, as well as archaeological diggings (the Templo Mayor) and the Palacio Nacional (Diego Rivera murals cover the walls of the second floor).
Fondest memory: My fondest memory is touring the city with the man I would later marry as my tour guide! He'd lived in 'el D.F.' for 9 years and was an excellent guide.
Favorite thing: If you like history, you must check out the Historic Center. You'll find the Aztec ruins of their main temple, the cathederal that Cortes built in the early 1500s on top of the main Aztec pyramid, the Presidential Palace. On top of all this, there's all the activity and people there to see.
Favorite thing: The Zocalo, or central square is an incredible sight. It's absolutely one of the hugest spaces I've ever been in. Bordered on 2 of its sides by the old presidential palace (now museum), and the Cathedral, it's an impressive place to visit.
Favorite thing: The Zocalo, the enormous square in the old town, is the place to be at weekends to understand something of everyday life in the city. Thronging with people and activities, the largest cathedral in Central America stands proudly overlooking the vastness that is the Zocalo.
El Zócalo. It has the aura of the Aztecs who inhabited the great city of Tenochtitlán.
Fondest memory: Walking around the Centro Histórico, just soaking up the ambience.
Also, visiting with good friends who live there.
It is always the Zocalo. The downtown district is filled with anything and everything that you can imagine. An Aztec pyramid next to the Spanish cathedral and the Palacio Nacional. Dancers in the streets keep the indigenous beats alive with the smell of incense in your nostrils. A walk through any and all streets is a must to see the architecture and sample foods and, of course, buy stuff. Heading too far west could be a problem, as you get nearer to Tepito the area gets more dangerous (in the day it isn't so bad, but don't even think about a solo night walk). Behind the palacio headed towards the Merced can get a little hairy as well, but is still recommended as this is one of the oldest comercial zones in the city and the tradition oozes from the streets, buildings and shops (let alone the people). The centro is definitely the must see in Mex City. (take the metro on the pink line to the Zocalo station; check out the models of the old Aztec city in the metro before you emerge into the New Spain capital that will amaze you.)
Fondest memory: You have to eat 'tacos al pastor'. I still haven't completely figured them out, but with a cold cerveza they are amazing. It is some type of spiced pork that they put on a vertical spit like gyros and heat up the meat as you order. It is then 'shaved' off the spit onto fresh corn tortillas, garnished with cilantro and onion and a piece of pineapple that spins above the spit. A little salsa and you are good to go. At 2 pesos a-piece you can fill up on about 3 bucks US (including the beers) and people-watch a spell as you do so.