I was born in one of the most beautiful cities in the world: México City. According to UN, my city is the 4th most populated city in the world. We have 5,967 inhabitants per kilometer, but even if we all don´t know each other, we all love our city.
Yes, Mexico city is dangerous. You have most likely heard that crime rate is high here, children have to work, and human rights are violated. All these affirmations are true, but maybe you have not heard that this city had to be re-built from an earthquake in 1985. We managed this with the help of solidarity of all our inhabitants as well as a volunteer group called “Topos” that rescued hundreds of people from the rubble in Mexico and later in 1996 in Egypt, in 2011 in Japan and after other natural disasters all around the world. Also, did you know that Mexico City has the most museums in North America and is the second city with most museums in the world? Or that when visiting the downtown of Mexico City, you could see prehispanic culture, colonial culture and modern culture in the same street? The whole downtown is granted the World Heritage title by UNESCO, along with Luis Barragan House and the library of the UNAM in Mexico City.
Let´s have a look at the beautiful downtown now.
One of my favorite places in downtown is Palacio de Bellas Artes (Palace of Fine Arts). This building is one of the most beautiful I´ve ever seen. The project was undertaken by the Italian architect Adamo Boari, who favored neoclassical and art nouveau style, and Mexican muralists David Alfaro Siqueiros, Diego Rivera, Jose Clemente Orozco. It took 30 years and thousands of problems to finish this building. The project lasted so long due to the technical difficulties caused by land subsidence, economic problems, Boari´s departure from the country and the Mexican Revolution. One of the most exceptional details of this building is the beautiful mosaic glass curtain made by Tiffany Studio in New York. It consists of more than one million pieces of opalescent glass representing a wonderful view of the Valley of Mexico with Iztaccihuatl and Popocatepetl Volcanos. Today, it is the house of the national dance and opera companies.
Also called “Postal Palace” is a building with a refined style inspired by the architecture of Venice. The building is covered with gold filigree inside. It was designed again by the Italian architect Adamo Boari and constructed by the engineer Gonzalo Garita.Besides the European style, the facade is entirely made of yellow quarry stone from Pachuca and supported by the New York and Chicago architectural style in its interior. Gold is the principal character of this beautiful building.
Main Plaza or Zocalo is the main square where ancient, colonial and modern culture is represented. We can find “Templo Mayor” or “Main Temple” that was one of the main temples of the Aztecs in their capital city of Tenochtitlan, which is now Mexico City. Its architectural style belongs to the late Postclassic period of Mesoamerica and was dedicated simultaneously to two gods, Huitzilopochtli, the God of war, and Tlaloc, the God of rain and agriculture. Its construction began after 1325. The temple was destroyed by the Spanish in 1521 during the construction of a cathedral. Today, the archeological site lies just to the northeast of the Zocalo. Next to it, we can find our Metropolitan Cathedral. At the main square Zocalo, where three eras of our history merge, many cultural and political events take place.
Are you hungry? In downtown, you can find a variety of delicious food to satisfy every taste. You can find Spanish, Chinese, Italian, Cuban food, but the must-try is exotic prehispanic food. You can find a broad selection of worms, escamoles (ant eggs), chinicuiles (red caterpillar larvae), grasshoppers prepared as in the ancient times. At San Juan Market you can also find lion, wild pig, deer, lizard, and donkey meat. Buen apetito!