5 places in Mexico City that you should definitely visit
The main square of Mexico City is impressive in size. This is the fourth largest city square in the world. Here, on Zocalo, the Aztec city of Mexico City, the capital of the Aztec state, was founded. That is why several civilizations came together on Zocalo: near the magnificent imperial palace of Cortes (now the National Palace) you can see the remains of the main Aztec pyramid (Templo Mayor). Nearby stands the main cathedral of the city – the National Cathedral, or the Church of the Ascension, a richly decorated building, built in typical Mexican style of the colonial period, in which classicism and baroque are mixed. Inside the cathedral you can see one of the main attractions – the elegant altar of kings, decorated with carved wooden statues of saints, flowers, stucco and angels.
Due to the impressive size, the area is used for political demonstrations, and the colorful tents, located almost in the center of the square, remind of this. And on weekends, a real market is unfolding here, in which not only thousands of knick-knacks for tourists are sold, but also shamans in traditional dress and feathers carry out cleansing rituals.
In 2007, the largest flash mob of naked people was organized by American photographer Spencer Tunik on Zokalo Square. 18000 volunteers gathered here to shoot a photo-installation.
This park, located in the central part of the city, has existed for more than 8,000 years. The name of the place in translation from the Aztec language means “grasshoppers hill”. From the middle of the 12th century, palaces were built here, they grew exotic plants and laid paths. In the 18th century, the Royal Palace was built in Chapultepec, and in the 19th century the boundaries of the park were finally defined.
Today it is as much as 643 hectares of beautifully-equipped territory, one of the most favorite holiday destinations of Mexico City residents, where everyone can find what interests him. Here are located seven museums, one of which – the National Museum of Anthropology – is included in the list of the best museums in the world.
Four lakes, a boat station, fountains, a zoo, numerous open-air exhibitions, an amusement park, all sorts of monuments from different eras, glades for picnics, shady alleys, meadows and gardens all contain Chapultepec. And even on the lattice of the fence of the park – the constantly changing exposure of paintings or photographs.
Dolores Olmedo was an outstanding woman who in many ways changed the Mexican history. The first businesswoman in the history of the country (owned by huge construction companies), she quickly became rich and started collecting Mexican art. In 1952, she bought a large asyendu (estate) on the territory of the Xochimilco district, where she began to collect the collection. Dolores bought valuable artifacts from the pre-Colombian era both from private dealers and international auctions. In total, the collection today includes more than 600 exhibits of that era – ceramics, bone work, etc. In addition, Olmedo bought paintings by contemporary artists, and in the middle of the twentieth century, Mexican art was experiencing real flourishing. Her collection includes works by Siqueiros, Orozco, Rivera. For many years she was friends with the brilliant Diego Rivera, buying his paintings. The last years of his life, Diego lived in the house of Dolores and appointed the managers of all his intellectual property. In the Museum you can see 150 works by Rivera and 25 paintings of the great Frida Kahlo.
Dolores died in 2002, having lived 92 years. She bought land around the manor and built schools, factories, houses for workers on it. Thanks to her, the district Xochimilco was transformed. Everyone adored her, and, despite the incredible wealth, they have never robbed me in my life. And 10 years before her death, she issued a document according to which her house and the entire collection became the property of the Mexican people. And then settled in a small house on the estate.
Manor Dolores Olmedo today looks exactly the same as during her life. In a luxurious house – a unique collection of paintings, sculptures, furniture, ceramics. Here you can see photos of Dolores herself, along with the most famous people of Mexico. On the territory adjacent to the house a huge landscaped park – flowers of all kinds, huge trees. Here you can watch geese and the course that Dolores loved is worn on the grass of her favorite breed.
And everywhere – on the ground and on the high walls, on the steps and on the cross of the dome of a small church, handsome peacocks are seated. They give a slightly unreal look to everything. And, looking at them, you think about Dolores herself – just as proud, bright, beautiful and independent.
This museum, which opened in March 2011, is unique in every sense. First, it is private, it represents the personal collection of the richest person in the world, Mexican Carlos Slim (by the way, named after the late wife of Slim.