I'm setting up this page in geographical order, so if you've been reading each tip so far we've been exploring the area right around the Zocalo. If you head a few blocks north of the Zocalo, you'll reach Plaza Santo Domingo, which appears a little run down, but has some interesting sights. The church of Santo Domingo dominates the northern end of the square. On the eastern side, you'll find the Museo de la Medicina, which is free to visit and was the site of the Inquisition in New Spain. Brutal sentences were handed down here to those deemed heretics and the museum today also has many exhibits related to medicinal practices of the region.
The center of the square has an interested fountain and was filled with vendors selling all kinds of knick knacks when I visited.
This is the second most important square in the historic center of Mexico. In the colonial era, it combined three major centers: the church and convent of Santo Domingo, the Palace of the Holy Inquisition and the Customs building, responsible for collecting taxes. Consequently, this place was the scene of everything from Good Friday processions to matters of the inquisition. The square has had three fountains. The original 17th century one and the second one, built in the late 18th century, no longer exist. The current fountain, depicting Dona Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez, the heroine of the Independence, dates from 1900 and was the work by the sculptors Jesus Contreras and Federico Hondedeu. It has had many names, including Jardin de la Corregidora and Plaza 23 de Mayo, in honor of the UNAM, granted in 1929. Its portals are famous for their public scribes and graphic arts workshops.