The Catedral Metropolitana was built by the Spanish conquerors in 1573 on the Aztec temple of Tenochtitlán. The two bell towers were not erected until 1793, the dome was completed in 1813. With a length of 110 m and a width of 54 m, the Cathedral of Mexico City is the largest church in America. As the construction lasted several centuries, the Gothic design by the architect Claudio de Arciniega was supplemented by his successors with Renaissance, Baroque and Classicism.
From the outside, the cathedral looks gray and monumental, the proportions don't seem quite right. The main facade is on the Plaza de la Constitución and faces south. In the interior there are two gold decorated altars, the Altar of Forgiveness and the Altar of Kings.
The National Palace was built on the remains of the palace of "Moctezuma II". "Hernando Cortes" secured the land and built his residence and the headquarters of "Nueva España" in 1523. On the balcony of the 200 m long façade, hangs the bell that "Hidalgo" rang in "Campana de Dolores" to proclaim independence from Spain in 1810.
The "Templo Mayor" is the ruin of the Aztec temple, that was destroyed by the Spaniards in 1520. This was the center of the Aztec empire. According to the legend, the eagle was seen here, perched on a cactus holding a snake in its beak, the symbol of Mexico.
The Mexican flag on the Zocalo was created according to the "Banderas Monumentales" program of President Ernesto Zedillo in 1999. According to this plan, monumental flags should be erected in all Mexican cities.
The "Torre Latinoamericana" was built in 1956 for an insurance company. The 140 m high tower was the tallest building in the city until 1972. Then the "Hotel de Mexico" took the record with 191 m. Today the tallest skyscraper in Mexico City is the "Torremayor" with 225 m. From the observation platform of the "Torre Latinoamericana" you will have the best view of the historic center.
The main post office was opened in 1907. The eclectic design of the Italian Adamo Boari includes elements from the Renaissance to Baroque and art deco. The sumptuous interior is dominated by gold tones.
The sprawling corruption and the enormous power concentration under President Porfirio Diaz, who ruled the country for over 30 years, led to the mexican revolution in 1911. The monument was supposedly to be the dome of the new parliament building, the construction of which began in 1910. After the revolution, it was transformed into the monument and the honorary burial ground of the revolutionaries in 1938.
On the "Placa de las 3 Culturas" you will find buildings of three different cultures. The remains of the Aztec temple of Tlatelolco, the Spanish Templo de Santiago and a modern Mexican cultural center. In 1968 over 300 students were killed here on a demonstration.
The Church of San Juan Bautista was founded in 1552 as a monastic church of the Dominican Order, which came to Mexico in 1526. After the monastery fell into disrepair, the Franciscans took over the monastery and rebuilt it several times. Today, the church is the center of Coyoacán.
The New Basilica de Guadalupe was built in 1972 next to the old basilica, which became unstable due to subsidence. In the modern, circular building is the portrait of the "Virgin of Guadalupe".
The "Antigua Basilica de Guadalupe" was erected after the Virgin Mary appeared to Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin in 1531, on the hill behind the Basilica. Since then, every year millions of people pilgrim to the holiest place in the country.
The "Zona Rosa" is the entertainment district of Mexico City. The Calle Genova is the pedestrian zone of the popular district. Formerly pink-painted villas of the rich upper class were used to stand here. Today, there are numerous restaurants, clubs, galleries and cafes.
Welcome to Mexico City
The capital of Mexico is with around 20 million inhabitants one of the largest cities in the world. The Aztec capital Tenochtitlán used to be here in the middle of Lake Texcoco until Hernán Cortés conquered the city.
Top sights of Mexico City
The main attractions of the capital include the huge "Metropolitan Cathedral" and the "Zocalo" as the square in front of the cathedral is called. Here is also the "Palacio Nacional" and the ruins of the "Templo Mayor".
Bosque de Chapultepec
The Bosque de Chapultepec is a park with a lot going on. Street artists perform and many stalls sell toys, sweets and drinks. In the park there are some museums, such as the Museo de Antropologia or the Museo Rufino Tomayo and the Castel de Chapultepec.