Dolores Olmedo was a very very wealthy woman, who donated her Hacienda and estate to Mexico. She was a world traveller and friend of many artists, including DIEGO RIVERA and FRIDA KAHLO, and there are many small personal paintings on display of both. The grounds are extensive and beautifully maintained and you can see roaming peacocks, and other wildlife. She had an extensive collection of pre-Columbian artifacts which are also on display.
This is a place you can spend tranquilly, right near Mexico City!! The gardens and buildings are gorgeous and there is a lovely place to have luncheon or a snack on premises and watch the peafowl and best of all, the food is very reasonably priced! You can combine this wil a visit to the nearby "hanging gardens" of Xochimilco and make it a full day, if desired.
Easy to get to via metro line 2 to Taxquena Station, then an easy change to the light-rail line to La Noria station. It will take about an hour each direction from center of Mexico City. The museum is a 2-block walk south. Admission about $3.20, but FREE on Tuesdays! OPEN - Tuesdays thru Sundays, 10am to 6pm. The website gives directions as well as restaurants nearby.
Visiting the Pyramids of Teotihuacan is a great excursion from Mexico City. To get there, you can make arrangements with any of the many tour groups offering a package deal, however, you'll save a bundle if you just do it yourself like I did. Just take the Metro to the Indios Verdes stop (north end of the city). Here, you'll find a number of buses. Just walk all the way to the last bus platform ("anden"), which is platform J, and then walk toward the northern end of the platform (toward the mountains) and get on a bus that has a sign in the window for Teotihuacan (or it might just say "piramides"). The one hour ride should cost 25 pesos.
I went on a Sunday and visiting the pyramids was free. You should allow yourself a good three hours or more to have enough time to visit the pyramids and the other sights to see here. For more details, check out my Teotihuacan page.
El Cárcamo -
Museo del Cárcamo de Chapultepec.
(Chapultepec Well Museum).
It is a very special place given the conditions in which it is located (in the middle of the forest) and in which it was a water box that spurted to all the Mexico City in the 50's.
The water came from the springs of the Toluca Valley by gravity, a wonderful work of engineering made by Mexican technicians with a route of more than 60 km.
In 1951, Diego Rivera painted the Cárcamo de Dolores (Dolores Well), which would receive the water from the Lerma river.
'El agua, origen de la vida' (The water, origin of the life), stands out being a subaqueous picture and therefore considered unique in the world, and because was the first time that Rivera used a synthetic material: a polystyrene emulsion with pigments.
Here, he represented his ideas about the origin of life and the human being.
He depicted the technical achievement of constructing the tunel as a homage to engineers, and designed large hands that deliver the liquid to the people.
Today, 'El Cárcamo' is a different museum. The building that protect the 272 sq. meter of pictorial art, reunite a heap of photographic and documentary material refer to the floods in the past of Mexico City, the importance of the hydraulic engineering to provide water to the city, the message depicting by the artist, the difficulty of the rescue of his work, the value of his art and the integration with the Tláloc fountain, located in front of the distribution box, that Rivera design in 1952 with mosaic tiles.
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Nevertheless, six years later of inaugurated, the work already presented a deterioration.
The artist wondered to his daughter Ruth, who worked in the INBA (National Institute of Fine Arts), about made managements so that he could take part in the replacement of all those zones damaged by the tremendous force of the circulating water.
Is until 1977 that the INBA, through their National Center of Conservation, processes an opinions about the state of conservation of the work, the channel of the Lerma river change its course surrounding the Cárcamo to permit the restoration of the Rivera's work, which never had been previously.
The work had undergone a great deterioration. The low parts, the submerged ones in the water filled of the slime, organic matters, salts, hardened oxides, which paradoxicalally helped to protect it; whereas the parts that were not in direct bonding with the water yellowed by effect of ultraviolet rays of the light.
There was conserved between 85% and 90% of the original painting of the walls, not therefore the one of the floor of the water mill, it was necessary to replace 64 meters of work with base in photographs of the time.
The restoration works of El Cárcamo took more than two years.
With the re-opening of the museum, the historical, artistic and cultural patrimony is rescued to benefit more than 80,000,000 of Mexican and foreign visitors whom Chapultepec Park receives each year!
Neri Vela Av., Segunda Sección (Second Section) Bosque de Chapultepec.
Close to 'Papalote' Museo del Niño.
Fuente de Tláloc.
Just a really beautiful fountain.
It was designed and supervised in its construction (1952) by the painter Diego Rivera, after concluding 'El agua, origen de la vida' (The water, origin of the life).
The fountain consists of a bas-relief in mosaic tiles of natural colored stones, that represent Tláloc (Aztec rain and water god) leaving waters.
The best point to appreciate its beauty is being placed to ten meters height or more.
How do that?
I want to kwow too...
There are other fountains, constructed after the one of Tláloc and inaugurated latter, in 1964, on the perimeter of the tanks of water storage of the Lerma system, and well-known like 'Fuentes de las Serpientes' (Fountains of the serpents), because of its serpents shapes.
These 'serpents' are the ventilation chimneys of four great cisterns in which originating potable water of the same system was stored.
Neri Vela Av., Segunda Sección (Second Section) Bosque de Chapultepec.
Close to 'Papalote' Museo del Niño.
Polyforum Cultural Siqueiros
(The Siqueiros Polyforum).
The building became part of one of the most ambitious urban projects at the end of the 1960s, intended to modernize Mexico City's image and promote tourism on a large scale combining art, architectural beauty and maximum efficiency in all its services.
Since its founding 30 years ago, it has been both a meeting place and landmark for inhabitants of Mexico's capital and a magnificent example of the country's visual arts vanguard. This center of culture is unmistakable because of its architecture, the murals that cover the twelve sides of its outer walls and the fact that it contains the world's largest sculpted mural by renowned Mexican muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros.
After six years of uninterrupted work, it was inaugurated in 1971 by President Luis Echeverría Alvarez.
From the start (1965), the main goal of both the artist and his team was to achieve a total integration of architecture, sculpture and painting.
This was the time when muralism was searching for a new pictorial language, which would receive a great innovative impetus thanks to its merger with modern architecture and contemporary art. Siqueiros represents that new thinking in muralism, which departed from flat walls and imagined all surfaces as an active, dynamic space.
Untiringly experimental, the artist incorporated new materials and techniques with the conviction that the advances of science would permit more freedom of expression.
The result is a work of art which encompasses architecture, painting, sculpture and relief.
With more than 8,000 square meters of space to unleash his creative capabilities upon, with no major restrictions and accompanied by an excellent team of more than 40 people (painters, sculptors, architects, chemists, photographers, workers and artists invited from different parts of the world), Siqueiros encountered in the Polyforum the best opportunity in his life as an artist.
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UNAM - Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico
(National Autonomous University of Mexico).
CU - Ciudad Universitaria
Needless to say, UNAM is the most important cultural center in Mexico, which means that when you visit it, you will get to know a lot about the history of Mexican science and philosophy.
The oldest university in Western Hemisphere was originally downtown near to Zocalo.
Construction on the current 8,000-acre/325-hectare campus was started in 1950.
The campus consists of more than 80 buildings, the most notable being the Central Library (university's main library), with its four famous exterior tile mosaic murals were designed by Juan O’Gorman.
Three-dimensional murals by Diego Rivera adorn the rectory building on the main campus slightly farther to the east.
On the western part of the campus is the 100,000-seat 'Mexico '68' Olympic Stadium (Site of the 1968 Olympic Games), which has an unfinished mural by Diego Rivera.
To talk more about history, architecture, science, culture and arts in this place, we should need a lot of pages to do that!
Just come and visit UNAM.
UNAM is located at the southern edge of the city about 10 mi/16 km from Zona Rosa.
Ciudad Universitaria subway station, line 3 (green). Or ride a taxi from your hotel...
Cuicuilco (Cuicuilco archeological site).
Cuicuilco was first settled sometime between 2100 to 1800 BC, once a thriving city, controlling virtually all of the Valley of México.
Very little is known about the people and their culture.
With a population of about 40,000 inhabitants, about 1000 BC were contructed an oval base temple and around 800-600 BC the pyramid was constructed and it was the largest structure in central Mexico.
Then, in 400 AD, tragedy struck the city when the nearby Xitle volcano erupted with a massive lava flow and buried the city.
Today well-exposed basaltic flows erupted from the Xitle scoria-and-cinder cone in the southwestern part of the Valley of Mexico.
These large amounts of lava cover an area of 70 sq km and were emplaced over the remining settlements, pyramid and other buildings.
Cuicuilco remained buried and forgotten until 1917, when the lava rock was quarried and the site discovered by Manual Gamio, the director of all Mexican government archaeological projects.
The last major excavation was during the construction of 'Villa Olímpica' for the 1968 Olympics celebrated in Mexico City. Temples, house foundations, and ballcourts were found, and then destroyed to make way for housing for the athletes.
The pyramid of Cuicuilco is one of the few remaining examples of round, stepped pyramids and very rare as its base and each level are circular.
It is about 370 feet (110 meters) and diameter at its base and now is 60 feet (20 meters) high (it was originally much higher).
Continuing urban development covers and destroys existing structures.
Residents of the area are trying to fight back, to save what remains of Cuicuilco, their nation's buried treasure.
There's also a site museum with photographs, artifacts, skeletons with deformed skulls, jewelry, and figurines.
If you're in the region, take time to visit the round pyramid of Cuicuilco, It is quite unique.
The site is located at the south end of Insurgentes Av., near to Ciudad Universitaria.
50 km northeast of Mexico City, you will find the ancient city of Teotihuacan. Walking on the wide avenues and climbing the pyramids is "another-worldly" experience.
The main avenue, "The Avenue of the Dead" (cheery name, isn't it?), is breathtaking. This is one of those places with an incredibly-high awe factor. The Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacan is the world's third largest.
See my travelogue for more scences from this amazing place.
According to the most recent definition agreed upon by the federal and state governments, the Mexico City metropolitan area population is more than 25 million people, making it the second largest agglomeration in the world.
The most of people live almost in poverty. I’ve never seen such slums situated on the hills where live millions of people. The most of people live almost in poverty. I’ve never seen such slum situated on the hills where live millions of people.
They are in great contrast with buildings on Paseo de la Reforma. When we were passing by these slum in a bus I thought about great social inequality which the population of the city suffers every day…
I don’t think tourist groups have ever go there…
You can watch my photo of Mexico City on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 19° 32' 20.70" N 99° 4' 28.95" W or on my Google Earth Panoramio Mexico City slums.
Mexican teleserials were very popular in the USSR and Russia twenty years ago. I didn’t see any film but heard about them very often.
Los Ricos También Lloran ("The rich also cry") is a popular telenovela produced in Mexico in 1979, starring Verónica Castro, Rogelio Guerra and Rocío Banquells.
Some of our tourists asked a guide to show rich quarters of Mexico City and we went there by bus. We were very surprised when she showed us a house where the film has been taken.
Another film - Simplemente Maria (Simply Maria) is a telenovela, starring Victoria Ruffo.
Zona Azul is definitely never going to be found in a travel Guide or as a touristic Spot.
This zone is in the north of Mexico city, in a residencial area in Satelite known for it's great Fruit Juices, Aguas, milkshakes, Icecreams and coctails with chile.
Is very famous by the neighbours in this area and the variety of the fruits, Juices, Aguas... is amazing and delicious.
There's a park right in the Xochimilco area which not many people know about, even people who live in Mexico City. It's called the Ecologic Park of Xochimilco (Parque Ecológico de Xochimilco) and it's a very nice place with artificial lakes and where native species (both of plants and animals, mostly birds) are preserved. It's a very big and quiet place, only a bit crowded in the weekends, where you can stroll, have a picnic, bike ride, take a ride on the little train that tours the park, rent boats & row or pedal in the lakes, etc. There are many things to do there and it's a place where you can spend a peaceful and relaxed day, besides of breathing pure air and seeing many beautiful trees, flowers, ducks, etc. The entrance fee is only 1.50 USD or so, and it's a place you should visit if you enjoy having contact with nature.
There is a Water Park called "El Rollo" inside Mexico City, but the best one is located 2 hours away from the city (the name is the same). You can get there by bus or by car, it's in the state of Morelos (about a half hour farther than the town of Cuernavaca) and the weather there is marvellous for a day of pic-nic, swimming and having fun! If you enjoy this kind of activity, I highly recommend it!
Going to see the monarch butterflies was a treat as well as an adventure. There really isn't a lot of info on the preserves in Mexico state. As that is where our day trip took us from Mexico city. We took a bus out towards the town of San Jose but you will have to ask the bus driver as well as some others on the 2 hour trip when to get off at a not so clearly marked intersection. There you can get shady taxi to the preserve or you can hitch. We hitched to the preserve and found out that you have to pay roughy 150 pesos each to get a guide for anther 25 minute ride farther into the mountains and entrance fees to the preserve. Money well spent seeing as how you need the guide to show you where the butterfies are. What a great day!