Zocalo, Mexico City

4.5 out of 5 stars 72 Reviews

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    Zocalo
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  • Nacional Monte de Piedad and our bus
    Nacional Monte de Piedad and our bus
    by Kuznetsov_Sergey
  • Zocalo
    by Kuznetsov_Sergey
  • Blatherwick's Profile Photo

    Palacio Nacional

    by Blatherwick Written Aug 26, 2005

    On the east end of the Zocalo is the Government Palace. It is noted for both for its colonial architecture and its importance in the Mexican political life. Inside the Palace the Diego Rivera murals depict the history of Mexico.

    The first palce on this spot was built by Aztec emperor Moctezuma II in the early 16th century. Cortes destroyed it in 1521 and built a palace with a large courtyard for bullfights. This was bought by the Spanish crown in 1562 to house the viceroys. It was desroyed in the riots in 1662 and rebuilt again. It remained the residence of the viceroys until Mexican independence in 1820.

    Palacio Nacional
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    National Palace or Palacio Nacional

    by JoanneR46 Written May 9, 2005

    In the government building called Palacio Nacional are murales of Diego Rivera worth a visit. They start at a staircase and then proceed to the right of the building.
    After you feasted your eyes on this lovely work of Rivera, walk behind the palace. There is a garden, benches, trees and in the middle of the historical center you can find a spot of solitude.

    Bathrooms available too!

    Mural
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    Palacio Nacional

    by AprilT Updated Apr 12, 2005

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    The Palacio Nacional is located in the Zocalo. It houses the offices of the president and many of Diego Rivera's murals. The largest mural is above the stairs near the gates and was painted between 1929 and 1935 in the aftermath of the Revolution. There are many amazing murals throughout the palace.

    Only a piece of a Diego Rivera Mural

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    Vendors at Zocalo

    by AprilT Written Apr 11, 2005

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    There are hundreds of vendors all around Zocalo selling handmade souvenirs and crafts. You can anything from handmade jewelry, to ceramic Aztec calendars, to watches, to even cell phone holders. All that shopping might make you thirsty, but I wouldn't recommend buying anything to drink from the vendors. They sell bottled sodas 3 for $1.00, but my cousin told me they fill half of the bottles with water.

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    The Zocalo Scene

    by AprilT Written Apr 11, 2005

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    This is just a shot of the street at the Zocalo. The traffic is crazy and all you see is a sea of VW bugs. To the left of the picture is a partial shot of the Palacio Nacional where the president's offices are located.

    Zocalo

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    Masterful Muralist

    by ExGuyParis Written Nov 14, 2004

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    Another of the murals by Rivera in the National Palace. Sometimes his politics and his love interests overshadow the fact that he painted remarkably beautiful murals.

    See the web site below for an extensive account of his art, his politics, and his wives.

    Rivera mural at the National Palace, Mexico City
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  • aztek87's Profile Photo

    The Zocalo, Mexico city's downtown

    by aztek87 Written Jul 20, 2004

    The center of the city is probably the essence of mexican culture, here you can find many must-see attractions.

    Plaza de la Constitución (Constitution square)
    The central square where you can find the Metropolitan cathedral, the Government Palace and Templo mayor in La plaza de las tres culturas that's what's left of the ancient aztec city: Tenochtitlan (destroyed by the spanish conquerors in 1512). Plaza de la constitución square is the actual zocalo, where many free concerts take place in numerous festivals, you can also see many ambulant vendors who sell all sorts of mexican food and souvenirs(it is not reccomended to eat on the street). Here you can also see a representation of ancient aztec dancers or various ceremonies such as the celebration of the independence day.

    Plaza de la Constituci��n
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    Palacio Nacional

    by chris_i79 Written May 27, 2004

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    The Palacio Nacional stretches the entire length of the Zocalo. It is located on the left side of the square (if you are facing the Catedral). The palace sits on the former site of Moctezuma's palace, but nowadays houses the headquarters of the Presidents administration. Inside there are murels by Diego Rivera, gardens, and a few museums. Security will keep you away from any offical areas the public is not allowed to go. Best of all this attraction is free, you just need to show some Id to security in the entrance.

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    Catedral

    by chris_i79 Written May 10, 2004

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    This was the first church built in New Spain, The material was taken directly from the fallen Aztec capital. Now it is the centerpiece of the Zocalo in Mexico City. The Catedral is massive and best of all free to enter. It is possible to climb the bell tower to get a great view of the Zocalo for a small fee.

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    Downtown -- Palacio Nacional

    by Laura_Mexico Updated Apr 17, 2004

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    There are so many places to visit in Mexico City, and I'll try to speak about them separately so you can appreciate some of the pictures I got.

    First there's downtown, with its main square called the Zocalo which has a huge flag standing in the middle (as you already saw in the main page), and one of the main buildings you'll find around it (both for its beauty and its importance in the Mexican political life) is the Government Palace, as well as lots of other old and nice colonial buildings. In the Government Palace you can see many great murals depicting the history of Mexico.

    There are many museums in this area and even an underground archaeological zone you must visit: the Templo Mayor ruins, which are just next to the Government Palace.

    This picture is one of the pics I made myself! The view from the top of the Cathedral is quite good as you may see!

    Palacio Nacional (our Government Palace)
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    • Museum Visits
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  • Maddae's Profile Photo

    El Zocalo

    by Maddae Updated Apr 17, 2004

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    An extremely large square with a fantastic cathedral (and loads of tourists).
    A good place to buy souvenirs.
    Standing in front of the cathedral, head right and you'll find some kind of permanent fleamarket, which seems to be bigger than most City's I've been to. We've been strolling through it for hours, but we couldn't find another end. They mostly sell clothes.

    El Zocalo and traffic lights

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  • dawnmc's Profile Photo

    Mexico City Zocalo

    by dawnmc Updated Apr 11, 2004

    The Zocalo is a place you must visit if you're going to Mexico City. The buildings are beautiful, especially the cathedral. You can walk around the Governor's palace which has interesting murals inside (but lots of soldiers with machine guns!). We decided to take a picture on the fountain but when we crossed the chain (bad idea!) all those machine gun toting guys ran at us! So don't do that.

    Anyways, Templo Mayor is right off of the Zocalo and is worth a visit. The outside is mostly reconstructed and not terribly impressive but the museum inside is much better. I would not advise using a guide for the outside. We did and he talked forever and it was really hot out.... I would walk though the outside at your own pace, if you want to speed through, no problem. But take some time inside, I think it's worth it.

    Go inside the cathedral it's fairly impressive inside as well. Definitly take some time to wander the streets around the area. But don't hang around too late as we heard that it gets dangerous when it's late. But you must see the Zocalo all lit up at night! Also nearby is the Palacio de Bellas Artes, which is pretty interesting too. It has more big murals and lots of different art exhibits.

    Cathedral on the Zocalo
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    Beer with a View

    by jenn_d Updated Jan 27, 2004

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    Three hotels on Monte De Dieado have rooftop restuarants that over look the Zocolo. A perfect place to quench your thirst from the warm Mexican sun and snap some photos.

    Holiday Inn
    Best Western Majestic
    Howard Johnson Grand Hotel

    With VT member JorgeDichter

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  • jenn_d's Profile Photo

    The Zocalo

    by jenn_d Updated Jan 22, 2004

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    The third largest public square in the world (Behind Tiannamen and Red Square), the zocalo is adorned with an enormous Mexican Flag..think back to the opening scene of the movie Traffic,,,

    Lots of activity here and a great meeting point..
    "Meet me at the flag..."

    Above the Zocalo with a cerveza

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  • Gaby_G's Profile Photo

    Zocalo dancers

    by Gaby_G Updated Sep 30, 2003

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    Family groups dancing at the sound of a flute... From the oldest to the youngest, everyone dressed in a prehispanic costume... You´ll find them in almost every touristic spot, and well... They will ask you for money... But the dance and the music are nice and the experience is better...

    danza
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    • Arts and Culture
    • Theater Travel

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Comments (2)

  • Zvezdanov's Profile Photo
    Aug 11, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    Una ciudad se mide por la calidad de vida que le ofrece a su población y no todos vivimos en el centro histórico, es mas, con unas condiciones generales tan miserables es un insulto que se pretenda premiar a la corrupción, la falta de servicios públicos, la delincuencia, la falta de planeación urbana, etc... Es fácil ver el lado bueno de la moneda y olvidar la otra cara, la hipocrecía no cuesta nada.

  • TramitanetMexico's Profile Photo
    Aug 4, 2013 at 7:35 PM

    A mi punto de vista, que por cierto es muy critico, existen mejores fotografías de lo que es el centro histórico de la Ciudad de México, No por nada fue y es llamada aun la ciudad de los palacios, ademas de tantas cosas de mucho contenido tanto cultural, tradicional, y de gran simbolismo patrio. Creo que las fotografías que se pusieron no demuestran lo grandioso que es esta zona de la Capital de la Republica mexicana, Ojala pudieran mejorarse. y por su puesto que voto por el centro histórico de México DF.

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