Sit by a Half-circle Monuement in Mexico City!
You can’t miss this semi-circle marble monument beside the Alameda Park (the south side) in Mexico City.
It is called the Hemiciclo a Juarez (literally, the half-circle for Juarez – the man depicted on top of the structure with an angel placing a laurel crown on his head while he holds the book of the Constitution of 1857).
This semicircle work of art was built in 1905, designed by Guillermo de Heredia and engineered by Ignacio Leon de la Barra. Italians Lazzaroni and Zoccagno were responsible for the sculptures and the details – a touch of Italy in the middle of Mexico City!
There are also two female forms symbolizing Justice and Glory on the monument. Every September 18th, the President holds a parade for this place --- although on that day when I went in the first week of September, there already a parade (could be a “practice session before the major big one!). Sept 18 is also when the park was inaugurated in 1910 by then President Diaz.Related to:
- Historical Travel
See Fountains and Statues in Alameda, MX City
I was walking near the Palacio Bellas Artes and you can’t miss this nice green park (the size of two large city blocks) in Mexico City, The Alameda Park.
Apparently, this is the first park in the city, all the way from the 16th century. Fountains, statues dedicated to famous Europeans like Beethoven, and families with young kids fill up the park, specially on that Sunday I was there when there was a parade of the streets.
The exact location of this park in the middle of the historical district is where an Aztec marketplace used to be. And during the Conquest, the Catholic Church apparently was involved in the burnings of heretics and witches on these very grounds!
But in 1592, Luis de Vasco decided to build a park on this spot, taking the name of the “poplar tree” seen in the area called the “Alamo” --- Hence. ALAMEDA!Related to:
- Arts and Culture
- Family Travel
I admit it..I have a love affair with castles. Others are drawn to cathedrals and monuments or battlefields, I am always drawn towards a city's castles.
Chapultepec Castle was extraordinary. There are glass walls now in areas that were once open air. I could picture Maxmillian and his wife wandering the marble floors or waltzing across the enormous second level dance floor(where I stepped on Pedroebc's feet). One of the most interesting features are a series of windows that from a distance seem to be stained glass. Upon closer examination one realizes that the windows are painted on both sides..and also very guarded by security.
Step 6: Ask the hotel to recommend a restaurant
You will be spoiled for choice. Narrow your options down by deciding on the type of food you'd like (gourmet French? hearty Italian? firey Mexican?), the feel of the place (tablescloths and candles or tall bottles of beer on a wooden table?) the area you'd like to be in after the meal (up for clubbing or want to stay near the hotel?)
I'd go for a cultural experience--get a restaurant that features local specialties and has live music. There is even a restaurant where in the summertime you can see a bullfight with torreros-in-training! (But since I was there in March, I was spared this spectacle.)
It might seem corny to dine to the rhythms of of a mariachi band, but, hey, you're a tourist and it shows anyway, so why pretend?
Step 7: Tap your toes or jump up and shake it!
Will your feet agree to do some toe tapping after walking all over Mexico City for hours?
You might prefer, as I did, to find a hot spot and just watch the locals, practice a little Spanish with whoever you happen to chat with, and listen to some rhythms.
If you've done the touristy dinner-entertainment thing, you might want to check out someplace where the residents of the city go to let loose. You can get up-to-the-minute info from your hotel, but one suggestion I will give on the Nightlife Tips page is the recently reopened "Pata Negra" tapas bar in the Condesa district. Get there early if you don't want to spend the evening on the sidewalk sipping your margarita!
You can see the statue of Cuauht¨¦moc on Avenida Reforma. The inscription at the bottom of the statue translates as "In memory of Cuauht¨¦moc (spelled Quautemoc) and his warriors who battled heroically in defense of their country."
The name Cu¨¡uhtem¨c means "One That Has Descended Like an Eagle", commonly rendered in English as "Swooping Eagle". Cuauht¨¦moc went to call for reinforcements from the countryside to aid the falling Tenochtitl¨¢n, after eighty days of continuous urban warfare against the Spanish.
You can watch my 2 min 41 sec HD Video Mexico City around part 4 out of my Youtube channel.Related to:
- Historical Travel
Wallpainting by Diego Rivera
The balustrade of the palace has been remodeled, conserving the murals by Diego Rivera that adorn the main stairwell and the walls of the second floor.
In the stairwell is a mural depicting the history of Mexico from 1521 to 1930 and covers an area of 450 m2. These murals were painted between 1929 and 1935, jointly titled "The Epic of the Mexican People". The work is divided like a triptych with each being somewhat autonomous. The right-hand wall contains murals depicting pre-Hispanic Mexico and centers around the life of the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl.
In the middle and largest panel, the Conquest is depicted with its ugliness, such as rape and torture, as well as priests defending the rights of the indigenous people. The battle for independence occupies the uppermost part of this panel in the arch. The American and French invasions are represented below this, as well as the Reform period and the Revolution.
The left-hand panel is dedicated to early and mid-20th century, criticizing the status quo and depicting a Marxist kind of utopia.
Diego also painted 11 panels on the middle floor, such as the "Tianguis of Tlatelolco" (tianguis means "market"), and the "Arrival of Hernán Cortés in Veracruz".Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Arts and Culture
Step 3: Spend an hour or two in a museum
Interested in history? Try the Leon Trotsky Museum, housed in a building that looks like a fortified mansion. It was here where Trotsky hid from Stalin.
Do indigeonous cultures fascinate you? The Museo Nacional de Antropologia contains art and artifacts relating to Mexico's native peoples. This museum is justly famous world-wide.
Is archeology a passion? Templo Mayor, the recently discoverd and excavated ruins of an Aztec temple to the god of war, where human sacrifices were made en masse to please the deity, is a must see.
Like art? Mexico's two most famous artists, Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera each have museums dedicated to them.
What about traditional decorative art? In a beautifully restored building that was once a hospital, the Museo Franz Meyer holds a collection of ceramic tiles, wood furnishings inlaid with precious materials such as ivory and ebony, religious artifacts in silver, and so on.
The list of museums is extensive, and I've only given you the ones that most tempted me. Below is a website where you can learn more about the museums of Mexico City.
El Auditorio, improving the sightlines. (2)
Has 15,633 pipes and 198 registries that when being combined produce 250 different sounds.
It has a weight of 50 tons without including the console, which has 380 controls, requiring its installation of 500 kilometers of wires.
After one year of intense works of restoration by Mexican technicians, the past October 26, 2000, were listened to its maximum capacity.
Curtain of 'Sandías' (Watermelons).
Reproduces work of the same name painted in 1968 by the Mexican artist Rufino Tamayo.
This curtain covers the stage with a dimension of 27 x 17 meters and a weight approximated of 1200 kg.
Is an enormous textile woven by hand in a single piece made by 'Marusho' in Kyoto, Japan.
Thirty Japanese and Mexican craftsmen (from Temoaya) was working together in the processing of this piece of art.
(Scene 750, 1992).
Amonumental sculpture by Vicente Rojo made in sheet steel.
This piece is a piece of art 15 ton weight.
(The Moon, 1993).
Sculpture is a creation of the Mexican artist Juan Soriano.
It is the first sculpture of colossal dimensions made by this artist in Mexico City.
Worked in bronze, it is 8 meter height and approximated 10 ton weight.
El Cárcamo, an unique work of art. (2)
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!
Polyforum, diamond of steel, light and color. (2)
Its architecture is unique: a double geometric structure, 12-sided on the outside and octagonal on the inside.
The structure of the Polyforum suggests a diamond mounted on a steel setting.
Viewed from any angle, this octagon looks like an ellipse, an illusion created by the original perspective conceived by Siqueiros for his interior mural.
The exterior of the Polyforum is actually an enormous easel with 12 masterpieces on it.
Each one consists of 160 square meters of sculpted painting and depicts symbolically a theme.
Another of its unique characteristics is its four different interior levels, which make the utilization of space very versatile.
First level is multi-purpose and houses the offices.
Second level contains a circular theater which seats 600 and can be used for lectures, seminars, small concerts and other cultural events.
Third level is called the National Forum.
Fourth level is the Universal Forum, the walls and dome of which are completely covered by the world's largest mural ever painted, known as 'La Marcha de la Humanidad' (The March of Humanity).
The mural covers 4331 sq meter (46,618 sq ft) of curved and sculpted wall space is a surprise, as is the richness of its form and color.
It depicts the opening of a dome on one side and its closing at nightfall on the other. At opposite ends, two gigantic pairs of hands symbolize Man -in his desire to dominate and create- and Woman -in her search for peace and harmony.
The second part of the mural describes the march of humanity toward the future revolution. Science and technology will be used to build a new world where peace and culture reign.
'La Marcha de la Humanidad' was Siqueiros' last great work, he died only two years after its completion.
Under the dome there is a rotating platform which can hold 1,000 people, thus allowing the audience to 'march' together with humanity through its history and toward the cosmos.
A splendid example of artistic integration, a unique place...
Next to the Cathedral is the Sagrario Metropolitano, which is actually connected to the main church. When I visited there were plenty of locals inside praying and using the splendid golden painted interior for spiritual reflection. The Baroque church was built in the mid-eighteenth century by a Spaniard named Lorenzo Rodriguez.
Click on the picture for a detailed look at the magnificent facade of the sacristy.
Mexico City's Town Hall takes up another side of the Zocalo and is the heart of the city's administrative departments. It's been in use since the Colonial Era. I never went inside, but the building fits in well with all of the other monumental structures here.
The Condesa is the nicest place to go and relax in Mexico city. This part of the city has an incredible feeling, you want to go there because they have very good restaurants, plenty of threes and a very relax feelingwhich is greatly appreciated while touring / living in Mexico city. The place was developped early in the century and many artists established there, it is now a trendy part of the city, not as expensive as Polanco. You will enjoy your walk in these streets! I am positive! Start with Amsterdam street which is th only street in Mexico circle shaped.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
- Work Abroad
University City (UNAM)
CU (Ciudad Universitaria) is the main University of Mexico and is itself a big city with many great instalations (Olympic stadium, Pools, Laboratories, museums, Sculpting parks, theathers, etc.) and beautiful buildings decorated with representative paintings by famoust Muralists.Related to:
- Study Abroad
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