Mexico City, known in Spanish as the Distrito Federal, or more commonly referred to as el D.F. (pronounced “el day-effay") is the capital of Mexico.
Mexico City Location
Mexico City is located in south central Mexico at roughly equal distance from the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Nestled in a valley between volcanic hills, Mexico City was founded on an island in a lake, the Lago de Texcoco, which was later drained. p.s. The city’s soft subsoil and the draining of the area’s groundwater are causing Mexico City to sink at a rate of 4 to 12 inches (10 to 30 cm) each year.
The city radiates out from the Zócalo, or main square, as much the heart of the modern capital as it was of the Aztec city that once sat here. Immediately to its west, in the streets between the Zócalo and the garden known as the Alameda, is the city’s main commercial area. Beyond that, the glitzy Zona Rosa, with trendy Condesa to its south, stretches towards Chapultepec Park – home to the incredible Museo Nacional de Antropología – and the rich enclave of Polanco, while Avenida de los Insurgentes leads down to the more laid-back barrios of San Ángel and Coyoacán. p.s. Mexico is the city with the largest number of museums in the world (without taking into account art galleries), with New York #2, London #3 and Toronto #4.
History of Mexico City Mexico City was founded in 1325 by the Mexica (also known as the Aztecs). They called the city Tenochtitlan. The city was later destroyed in 1521, seized by the Spaniards, and rebuilt following Spanish urban standards with Catholic churches built over old Aztec temples. In 1585 the city was known as Ciudad de México, (Mexico City), a much easier version to pronounce for Spanish.
Architecture of Mexico City Downtown Mexico City has been an urban area since the pre-Columbian 12th century, and the city is filled with historical buildings and landmarks from every epoch since then. It is also known as the City of Palaces, because of the large number of stately buildings, especially in the Centro. Its architecture comes in a great range of styles and ages ranging from Aztec ruins to 500-year old Spanish homes and churches and modern glass and steel office buildings and hotels.