Mexico City Travel Guide
The City has suffered from a lot of bad publicity recently, not all of it unfounded, however there have been great advances in solving the pollution problems and street crime, although on the increase, can be avoided by applying common sense and a little caution. All in all it is a wonderful, exciting and enlightening city that encapsulates the true Mexican experience.
At the centre of the City is the impressive Plaza de la Constiticion or Zocalo, the second largest plaza in the world after Moscow’s Red Square. The plaza is also the City’s heart and the main venue for national celebrations. Here you will find the magnificent neo-classical Presidential Palace which was built by Hernando Cortez and is home of the federal treasury and national archives. No longer the office of the Mexican President the main attractions are its murals, which are amongst Diego Rivera’s most famous. The area around Zocalo is known as Centro Historico, which covers 500 blocks and is home to the most impressive examples of Mexican Colonial architecture in the country. Built on the ruins of the Aztec capital of Tenochtilan its finest buildings include Palacio de Iturbide - an Italian Baroque Palace, and the delightful main post office, Correo Central. Also not to be missed is the Templo Mayor and excavated Aztec Temple with adjacent museum that contains treasures found on the site.
Mexico has what is often referred to by visitors is it’s own Central Park. Actually Chapultepec is probably more in character a European park but its importance as a landmark certainly merit comparisons to its Manhattan cousin. Here amongst the magnificent greenery are numerous important Mexican institutions – Chapultec castle, which doubles as the National History Museum, The Museum of Modern Art and most importantly the world famous National Museum of Anthropology, which is one of the finest museums in the world. Other great landmarks include Mexico’s favourite monument El Monumento de la Indepenencia, a 150ft column topped with a gilded winged victory and the Plaza of Three Cultures where a pyramid, colonial cathedral and a modern office block stand side by side. You can enjoy a pleasant stroll along the Paseo de la Reform, designed by Emperor Maximilian (who was inspired by Paris’ Champs Elysee) as a straight root between the Historic Centre and his Palace in Chaputec Park. Those who enjoy art and entertainment can combine them both at the wonderful Palacio de Bellas Artes, a wonderful neo-classical building housing the spectacular Ballet Folkloric and National Symphony.
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