Mexico City, Mexico Flag of Mexico

Mexico City
Mexico City
Mexico City Mexico City
Mexico City History: Before Christopher Columbus set sail for the New World, the Valley of Mexico was already a bustling center of life and commerce. Known for being the longest continuously inhabited city in the Western Hemisphere (it was founded in 1325), Mexico City now ranks as the largest city in the world. Once called Tenochtitlan, the Aztec capital city was built on a one-square mile island in an enormous shallow lake. By the early 1500's it was the capital of a military empire that stretched from Texas to Honduras. The Spanish crown, led by Hernan Cortes, conquered the Aztec Empire in 1521. It was not until the early 1800s that Mexico began its long, hard quest for independence - which it won in 1821.

Not only is Mexico City the capital of Mexico, but it is also Mexico's commercial center. The zocalo, or central plaza, is the world's largest square and Mexico City's main historic district. A whirlwind of history can be discovered in the district's museums, hotels, cathedrals, and public buildings. One mile to the north is the Tlatelolco Reforma and Chapultepec Park. Once housing the historic Aztec marketplace, it is now home to the Plaza of Three Cultures, depicting the three dramatic eras of Mexico City's evolution. The elegant Paseo de la Reforma surrounds Mexico City from west to northeast. It was modeled after the Champs-Elysees in Paris and built during the reign of Emperor Maximilian, the Archduke who ruled Mexico from 1864-67. Just south of the Reforma is the fashionable Zona Rosa, or the Pink Zone. Built in the 1920's and reminiscent of Greenwich Village, its location is ideal - half-way between the zocalo and Chapultepec Park. Most of the superior and deluxe Mexico City hotels are located here, as well as the city's finest restaurants, historic landmarks and public buildings.

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Street Map of Mexico City

Mexico City

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