Posted by: RasmaSandra | April 23, 2018

Taking a Look at Mexico City

mexico

In our armchair travels, we were doing a bit of island hopping in the Caribbean. Now we are moving onward and heading to Mexico. So sit back, get comfortable and let’s take a tour of the capital Mexico City.

Mexico is a country between the U.S. and Central America. It’s known for its Pacific coast and Gulf of Mexico beaches. It is bordered to the north by the U.S. states of California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, to the south and west by the Pacific Ocean, to the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea and to the east by the Gulf of Mexico.

mexico city

Mexico City is a densely-populated city and the high-altitude capital of Mexico.

mexico belle arte palacio

Palacio de Bellas Artes is the place where you can see immense murals by world-famous Mexican artists, dominating the top floor of this white-marble palace. It is an arts center and a concert hall. It has been built in the neo-Classical and Art Nouveau styles.

On the second floor, you’ll find two early 1950s artworks by Rufino Tamayo – Mexico Today and Birth of Nationality.

On the third floor at the west end is the famous artwork by Diego Rivera Man at the Crossroads. On the north side are the three-part artwork by David Alfaro Siqueiros New Democracy and the four-part artwork by Diego Rivera Carnival of Mexican Life. To the east is Catharsis an artwork by Jose Clemente Orozco.

On the fourth floor is the Museo Nacional de Arquitectura featuring changing exhibits on contemporary architecture.

The Belleas Artes Theater has an impressive stained-glass curtain that depicts the Valle de Mexico. This is based on a design by Mexican painter Gerardo Murillo aka Dr. Atl. It was assembled by New York City jeweler Tiffany & Co., made up of almost a million pieces of colored glass. The theater presents seasonal opera, symphony performances and performances by the Ballet Folklorico de Mexico.

mexico mayor 2

Templo Mayor was excavated after an eight-ton stone disc carving of the Aztec goddess Coyolxauhqui was discovered. It is thought that this temple is on the exact spot where the Aztecs saw their symbolic eagle perching on a cactus with a snake in its beak which is the symbol of Mexico today. In Aztec belief, this was literally the center of the universe.

mexico templo

The entrance to the temple site and the museum is east of the cathedral, across Plaza del Templo. Ongoing excavation continues on this site.

A new entrance hall displays objects discovered over four years of the hall’s excavation.

mexico anthro 2

Museo Nacional de Antropologia is a world-class museum with a long, rectangular courtyard surrounded on three sides by two-level display halls. The twelve ground floor halls are dedicated to pre-Hispanic Mexico. The upper-level halls show the lives of the indigenous descendants of Mexico.

mexico anthro columns

In the courtyard, the giant column fountain is known as el paraguas or the umbrella and act as a reminder of the connection to nature. Each side depicts a different sculpture – to the east the integration of Mexico, to the west outward-looking Mexico and to the north and south the fight for liberty in the Mexican villages.

In front of the museum, the indigenous Totonac people perform the amazing voladores rite – flying from a 20m-high pole every 30 minutes.

mexico frida 2

Museo Frida Kahlo is in the Casa Azul or Blue House where renowned Mexican artist Frida Kahlo was born, lived and died. The house is full of mementos and personal belongings. You can see different artworks.

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Secretaria de Educacion Publica here the two front courtyards are lined with 120 fresco panels that were painted by Diego Rivera in the 1920s. They depict the life of the people. Each courtyard is distinct – the one on the east end deals with labor, industry, and agriculture, the interior one depicts traditions and festivals.

mexico murals

On the top level is a series on proletarian and agrarian revolution and underneath a continuous red banner with a Mexican corrido or folk song. On the first panel is a likeness of Frida Kahlo as an arsenal worker.

mexico monumento

Monumento a la Revolucion the building was unveiled in 1938 and contains the tombs of the revolutionary and post-revolutionary heroes Pancho Villa, Francisco Madero, Venustiano Carranza, Plutarco Elias Calles and Lazaro Cardenas.

mexico monumento 2

It stands on the Plaza de la Republica. There are geyser-like fountains and at night the features of the monument are highlighted by colored lights.

The main attraction here is the 65m-high summit paseo linternilla which can be accessed by a glass elevator. The elevator opens to a spiraling staircase that leads up to a round terrace offering panoramic views of the city. There is also a 360 observation deck lower.

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Palacio Nacional is a grand colonial palace with Diego Rivera murals that were painted between 1929 and 1951. The nine murals cover the north and east wall of the first level depicting indigenous life before the Spanish conquest. Today this is home to the offices of the President of Mexico and the Federal Treasury.

mexico palacio national courtyard

Above the door hangs the Campana de Dolores, the bell rung in the town of Dolores Hidalgo at the start of the War of Independence. From the balcony beneath it, the president delivered the shout Viva Mexico to commemorate independence.

mexico gibraldi 2

Plaza Garibaldi in this festive square you can hear the city’s mariachi bands every night. There are also groups from Veracruz offering northern-style folk tunes.

mexico gibraldi tequila

Here you’ll find the Museo del Tequila y el Mezcal, with exhibits that explain the origin and production of two of the most popular distilled agave drinks in Mexico.

mexico torre-latinoamericana

Torre Latinoamericana was the tallest building in Latin America when built in 1956. There are great views from the 44th-floor observation deck and the 41st-floor lounge bar. There is an onsite museum about the history of Mexico City.

mexico arte popular

Museo de Arte Popular displays folk art. There are contemporary crafts displayed from all over Mexico among them carnival masks from Chiapas, animal figures from Oaxaca and trees of life from Puebla. The museum has found its home in the former fire department headquarters which is an amazing example of 1920s Art Deco. On the ground level, you can find a shop selling handicrafts.

mexico catedral-metropolitana

Catedral Metropolitana is one of the most iconic structures in Mexico City. Building started in 1573 and continued during the entire colonial period. The cathedral is dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary which is depicted in the central panel.

mexico catedral metropolitana bell tower

The upper levels of the towers were added in the late 18th century.

The clock tower is topped by statues of Faith, Hope, and Charity.

mexico ana

Anahuacalli was designed by Diego Rivera to house his collection of pre-Hispanic art. This museum resembles a temple made of volcanic stone. Here you can also see one of Rivera’s studios and his artwork. In November Day of the Dead offerings pay homage to the painter and from April to early December the museum hosts free concerts on Sundays ranging from classical to regional folk music.

mexico azulejos

Casa de los Azulejos dates back to 1596. The tiles that decorate the outside walls were produced in China and shipped to Mexico on Spanish galleons.

mexico rest

On the premises is a Sanborn restaurant in a covered courtyard with a Moorish fountain.

mexico constitution plaza

In the heart of the city, you’ll find the Plaza de la Constitucion or as the locals call it the Zocalo, meaning base. It’s one of the world’s largest city squares. On the east side is the Palacio Nacional, on the north is the Catedral Metropolitana and on the south are the city government offices. On the west side, you’ll find an arcade known as the Portal de Mercaderes with hotels and jewelry shops. The square is the place for mass protests, free concerts, a human chessboard, a gallery of spooky Day of the Dead alters and an ice-skating rink. In the middle flies a huge Mexican flag which is raised at 8 AM by soldiers of the Mexican Army and lowered at 6 PM.

mexico castillo

Castillo de Chapultepec this castle stands on top of Chapultepec Hill. It was the home of Emperor Maximilian and Empress Carlota. Their residence has been preserved and you can see the grandly furnished salons that open onto an exterior deck offering spectacular city views. On the upper floor, the opulent rooms are the work of Porfirio Diaz, who in the late 19th-century was the first president to use the castle as his residence. In the center is a patio with a tower that marks the top of the hill 45m above street level.

Monumento de la Independencia (El Angel), Mexico DF

Monumento a la Independencia the symbol of Mexico City is known as El Angel. This gilded Winged Victory stands on a 45m-high pillar and was sculpted for the independence centennial of 1910. Inside the monument are the remains of Miguel Hidalgo, Jose Maria Morelos, Ignacio Allende and nine other notables. Thousands of the people gather around the monument on Independence Day, New Year’s Eve and for victory celebrations following important Mexican football matches. There are occasional free concerts.

 

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/mexico/mexico-city/attractions/a/poi-sig/361544

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Responses

  1. This travel tour was MUCH nicer than the real thing – can’t drink the water or eat fresh produce for fear of parasites and if one has the least little problem with asthma, the air is horrible to breath… I never, ever want to go back there in real life!

    • I am sure if anybody wants to travel they check things out before they go. Too bad it is like that there but of course this is an armchair tour just to let others know what they can see there. I am sorry that no one thinks or can improve the situation. Must be very difficult for tourists.

      • Like I said, it is a beautiful place to tour from an armchair, but the reality of if is quite horrible.


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