p.s. Centro Histórico is the oldest part of Mexico City. This neighborhood is focused on the Zócalo and has over 9 km² and occupies 668 blocks. It contains 9,000 buildings, 1,550 of which have been declared of historical importance. Most of these historic buildings were constructed between the 16th and 20th centuries. Also, the Centro Histórico is composed of different layers of cities superimposed on top of each other. When the Aztecs first came into the Valley of Mexico they built their pyramids on the lake they found there. When a new and bigger pyramid was conceived and the Aztec Empire grew in size and power, they did not search for a new site; they just built on it and around the existing one. When the Spanish arrived in America and ultimately conquered the Aztecs, they erected their Christian temples atop Aztec’s pyramids. Eventually their whole colonial city was built on top of the Aztec one. In the 20th century, many colonial buildings were demolished and modern structures raised on the existing historic foundations. Mexico City is like a massive layered cake: a modern metropolis built on the foundations of a colonial city that was erected on top of the ancient pyramids that were constructed on the lake.
早餐後，旅館管家帶我們穿過飯店後方小徑，來到Turibus的起點站；我們選擇Circuito Chapultepec Centro Histórico停靠26站、約3小時的行程：(http://www.turibus.com.mx/)
1. Auditorio Nacional
Auditorio Nacional is an entertainment center located at Chapultepec right in front of the Polanco hotel zone.
2. Museo de Arte Moderno
Condesa is a district in the Cuauhtémoc Borough of Mexico City, south of the Zona Rosa and 4 to 5 km west of the Zócalo. The area is considered to be fashionable and popular with younger businesspeople, artists, students and intellectuals. It features a large number of international restaurants and nightclubs, despite the fact that it is mostly residential.
4. Fuente de Cibeles (Plaza Madrid) Fuente de Cibeles is an exact replica of the fountain located in the Plaza de Cibeles in Madrid, which was built during the reign of Charles III by architect Ventura Rodríguez between 1777 and 1792.
The Mexican version is located at a traffic circle where Oaxaca, Durango, Medellín and El Oro streets converge in Colonia Roma. It was installed in Mexico as a symbol of brotherhood between the Spanish and Mexican communities in 1980.
The fountain consists of the statue of the goddess Cybele, Roman goddess of fertility, who wears a crown and carries a scepter and key, symbols of her power of Earth. The carriage pulled by lions which represent Hipomenes and Atalanta, one of the huntresses of the goddess Diana. The whole group of sculptures measures approximately 12.5 meters long, 4.7 meters in width and 5.5 meters tall with a weight of 12 tons.
5. Colonia Roma
6. Monumento a la Independencia Monumento a la Independencia is a victory column and one of the most recognizable landmarks in Mexico City. It has become a focal point for both celebration and protest. Monumento a la Independencia was built to commemorate the centennial of the beginning of Mexico’s War of Independence, celebrated in 1810. It bears a resemblance to the July Column in Paris and the Victory Column in Berlin.
The base of the column is quadrangular with each vertex featuring a bronze sculpture (crafted by Enrique Alciati) symbolizing Law, War, Justice and Peace. On the main face of the base, which faces downtown Mexico City, there is an inscription reading La Nación a los Héroes de la Independencia (The Nation to the Heroes of Independence). In front of this inscription is a bronze statue of a giant lion led by a child, representing strength and the innocence of youth during War but docility during Peace.
The column itself is 36 m high. The structure is made of steel covered with quarried stone decorated with garlands, palms and rings with the names of Independence figures. Inside the column is a two-hundred step staircase which leads to a viewpoint above the capital. The Corinthian-style capital is adorned by four eagles with extended wings from the Mexican coat of arms used at the time.
Crowning the column there is a 6.7 m statue (also by Enrique Alciati) of Nike, the Greek goddess of Victory. It is made of bronze, covered with 24k gold (restored in 2006) and weighs 7 tons. In her right hand the Angel, as it is commonly known, holds a laurel crown above Miguel Hidalgo’s head, symbolizing Victory, while in her left she holds a broken chain, symbolizing Freedom.
6A. Reforma 222 Shopping Place
6B. Statue of Cuauhtémoc
Back in the 16th Century, Cuauhtémoc was an emperor of the Aztecs and defended his people against the Spanish Conquest. This statue was a gift from the State of Guerrero. It was created by the outstanding Mexican sculptor Miguel Noreña, who also created the other sculptural elements that comprise the monument, including 8 bronze leopards with feathered headdresses and tombs meant to commemorate important events in the monarch’s life.
7. Glorieta de Cristóbal Colón
Glorieta de Cristóbal Colón is composed by the sculpture of Christopher Columbus and the base upon which it stands, as well as two stone carvings called “Landing of Christopher Columbus” and “The Founding of the Church”. Another four sculptures stand on the base, they represent the first missionaries of the American continent: Friar Antonio de Marchena, Friar Pedro de Gante, Friar Diego de Ordaz and Friar Bartolomé de las Casas.
Torre del Caballito—is a skyscraper (135 metres and 35 storeys tall) located on the Paseo de la Reforma #10. It was designed by Grupo Posadas de Mexico.
The name of the building comes from a statue made in 1803, El Caballito, which was located in front of the tower until it was removed in 1979. Today that statue is on the Plaza Manuel Tolsá. In an effort to reinforce the conservation of the Caballito building name, the owner sponsored a new art work, now at the entrance, which represents the head of a giant horse. This yellow sculpture is also used as the building’s official logo.
7A. Alameda Central 阿拉曼達公園 Alameda Central is the oldest public municipal park in Mexico City, adjacent Palacio de Bellas Artes, between Juarez Avenue and Hidalgo Avenue. The area used to be an Aztec marketplace. The location became a park in 1592 under the orders of the Spanish viceroy, Luis de Velasco.
The park was named after the poplar trees (Spanish word “Alamo”), which were planted to provide shade for visitors. The paved park has landscaped gardens, five fountains and statues and is the venue for many civic events held by the city. (via http://www.garuyo.com/)
p.s. When it was noticed that the Alamo trees weren’t growing fast enough they decided to exchange them for ash and willow trees which have a faster development. Nevertheless, the name of Alameda has remained until our time.
8. Hemiciclo a Juárez
On the south side of the Alameda Central park, facing toward the street is the Hemiciclo a Juárez (built in 1905 and designed by Guillermo Heredia), which is a large white semi-circular monument to Benito Juárez, who is one of Mexico’s most beloved presidents.
Museo Memoria y Tolerancia—is located on Avenida Juárez, in Plaza Juárez–a masterpiece from the renowned architect Ricardo Legorreta.
Palacio de Bellas Artes/Palace of Fine Arts 藝術宮(舊城區最美麗的建築)—is located on the west side of the historic center of Mexico City next to the Alameda Central Park. Commissioned by President Porfirio Diaz to replace the previous National Theater that was demolished in 1901, Italian architect Adamo Boari began the project in 1904. The original plan was to finish the construction in time to celebrate the centenary of Mexican Independence in 1910. However, this construction was stopped completely by 1913 due to complications arising from the soft subsoil and the political problem both before and during the Mexican Revolution. Years later, during the government of President Pascual Ortíz Rubio, it was decided the construction of the building should be resumed, and the project was given to the Mexican architect Federico Mariscal. Construction began again in 1932 and was completed in 1934.
The palace has a mixture of architectural styles. Art Nouveau dominates the exterior, which was done by Adamo Boari, and the inside is dominated by Art Deco, which was completed by Federico Mariscal.
Torre Latinoamericana/Latin-American Tower 拉丁美洲塔—built between 1948 and 1956 by Augusto H. Alvarez with 44 floors (182 m). It was for many years the tallest building in Mexico and Latin America.
While it was being built, many people felt that a tower of that height would not be able to withstand Mexico City’s frequent earthquakes, however this was put to the test in 1957 and again in 1985, and the building suffered no damage in either major quake. p.s. 14世紀時，阿茲特克來到墨西哥谷地，以Texcoco湖中小島為中心，逐漸填湖建造出水上城市Tenochtitlan；而今日的墨西哥城則是16世紀時，西班牙征服者在打敗阿茲特克帝國後，將帝國首都 Tenochtitlan 夷平再在廢墟上重新建立的城市。因此今日的墨西哥城絕大部分的市區都是建立在不穩定的回填土之上，對於地震之類的天災特別沒有抵抗能力。
Casa de los Azulejos/House of Tiles 磁磚之家—located at number 4 Francisco Madero Street, has a unique façade on three sides completely covered in the expensive blue and white azulejos (tiles) from the state of Puebla, which are called talavera.
Built in the 18th Century by the Count del Valle de Orizaba family, this mansion has changed hands several times in the 19th Century. In 1919, two American brothers, Walter and Frank Sanborn saw the potential in renovating the property and converted the building into a drugstore and soda fountain which eventually evolved into Sanborn’s, a best-recognized chain of restaurants and department stores in Mexico. The house today serves as their flagship restaurant. Today the Sanborn chain belongs to Carlos Sim, one of the world’s richest men.
The building has a central courtyard with a Moorish fountain that is now a quaint Sanborn café and a 1925 mural by the social realist painter Jose Clemente Orozco.
果然整個Zócalo周邊都被封鎖，Turibus最近只能行駛至Plaza Manuel Tolsá，一定得下車步行至Zócalo。
10. Plaza Manuel Tolsá Plaza Manuel Tolsá features a rectangular open space, located right in front of the old Tacuba Street several blocks west of the Zócalo. It named after the Spanish sculptor and architect who completed the Catedral Metropolitana.
The plaza is famous for its centerpiece—an equestrian statue of Charles IV (also known as El Caballito, meaning “little horse”). It is a bronze sculpture cast by Manuel Tolsá on August 4, 1802 in honour of King Charles IV of Spain, then the ultimate ruler of colonial Mexico. It was originally placed in the Zocalo but when Mexico gained independence, the nation’s first president, Guadalupe Victoria, had it removed. It resided in several different locations before being placed here, in the Plaza Manuel Tolsá, in 1979. The statue weighs 26 tonnes and is the second largest cast bronze statue in the world.
Museo Nacional de Arte (MUNAL) —The impressive building behind the statue, in the style of an Italian renaissance/neoclassical palace, was completed in 1911 (formerly known as the Communications Palace by the Italian architect Silvio Contri), and since 1982 has housed the Museo Nacional de Arte.
The construction is of historicist eclectic style, the usual in that time, highlighting the influence of the renaissance style in the lower levels. The upper levels were decorated with columns and neoclassical elements which harmonize with the slightly more austere lines of the neighboring Mining Palace.
Palacio de Minería—Opposite the plaza is the Palacio de Minería, where mining engineers were trained in the 19th century. Today it houses a branch of the national university’s engineering department. This neoclassical masterpiece was also designed by Tolsá and built between 1797 and 1813.
Palacio Postal—is on the corner of Tacuba and Eje Central Lazaro Cardenas. This ornate palace was designed by the Italian architect Adamo Boari, who also made the plans for the Fine Arts Palace. President Porfirio Diaz inaugurated the building in 1907.
9. Zócalo 憲法廣場 The main square of the Mexico City is called the Zócalo but its official name is “Plaza de la Constitucion”. Once the main center of the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan, this is the beating heart of Mexico’s capital. It takes up a whole city block and is among the largest squares (57,600 m², 240 m × 240 m, second only to the Red Square in Moscow) in the world where people gather for civic and cultural events, celebrations, and protests throughout the year.
p.s. Zócalo actually means “pedestal" or “plinth". In the 1800s a grand monument to Mexico’s independence was planned and the pedestal built, but the project was never completed. Nevertheless, the pedestal became a landmark for visitors, and soon everyone was calling the square the Zócalo, even after the pedestal was removed. Today, many other Mexican towns and cities have adopted the word Zócalo to refer to their main plazas, but not all.
Zócalo is a large, paved space bordered by the left—Catedral Metropolitana de la Asunción de María (墨西哥市主教座堂), the middle—Palacio Nacional (國家宮) and the right—Federal District buildings (聯邦區大樓). A flagpole stands at its center with an enormous Mexican flag ceremoniously raised and lowered each day. (via http://www.bunkerarquitectura.com/)
p.s. 基於墨西哥聯邦及地方法例規定不能拆毀歷史建築，並訂有新建築物不能高於 8 層樓的限制，於是BNKR Arquitectura建築師事務所突發奇想，提出向地底發展的The Earthscraper設計案—一座65層、深入地底 300 m的倒轉金字塔型建築，包括住宅、購物中心、博物館及辦公室等設施。此舉倒是一絕！(http://www.bunkerarquitectura.com/)
Catedral Metropolitana de la Asunción de María/Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral 墨西哥市主教座堂—occupies the north end of the Zócalo and is the oldest and largest cathedral in all of Latin America. It was built over the location of the destroyed Aztec palace of Moctezuma. The material used during its construction was from the destroyed palace too. Spanish architect Claudio de Arciniega planned the construction, drawing inspiration from Gothic cathedrals in Spain. The cathedral was built in sections from 1573 to 1813 with several architectural styles including baroque, neoclassic and Mexican churrigueresque.
p.s. Churrigueresque style is a wedding-cake ornate Mexican Baroque style, named for Spanish architect José Churriguera.
The cathedral faces south and is approximately 54.5 m wide and 110 m long. It has four facades which contain three main portals flanked with columns and statues. The two bell towers contain a total of 25 bells (18 hang in the east bell tower and 7 in the west tower). p.s. The cathedral is home to two of the largest 18th-century organs in the Americas.
The main portal is centered in the main facade and is the highest of the cathedral’s three portals. Statues of Saint Peter and Paul the Apostle stand between the columns of the portal, while Saint Andrew and James the Just are depicted on the secondary doorway. In the center of this doorway is a high relief of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, to whom the cathedral is dedicated. This image is flanked by images of Saint Matthew and Saint Andrew. The coat of arms of Mexico is above the doorway, with the eagle’s wings outstretched. There is a clock tower at the very top of the portal with statues representing Faith, Hope and Charity, which was created by sculptor Manuel Tolsá.
Situated to the right of the main cathedral, the Metropolitan Tabernacle was built by Lorenzo Rodríguez during the height of the Baroque period between 1749 and 1760, to house the archives and vestments of the archbishop. It is constructed of tezontle (a porous volcanic rock) and white stone in the shape of a Greek cross with its southern facade faces the Zócalo. It links to the main cathedral through the Chapel of San Isidro.
p.s. Over the centuries the cathedral’s foundations have sunk into the soft soil beneath as a result the cathedral and the nearby chapel did not have a level floor.
Templo Mayor/Great Temple大神廟遺址—was one of the main temples of the Aztecs in their capital city of Tenochtitlan, which is now Mexico City. According to Aztec sources, Templo Mayor was built on this spot because an eagle was seen perched on a cactus devouring a snake, in fulfillment of a prophecy. The temple, measuring approximately 100 m by 80 m at its base, dominated a Sacred Precinct. Construction of the first temple began sometime after 1325, and it was rebuilt six times after that (each covering over previous layers in order to make the building bigger). The temple was destroyed by the Spanish in 1521 and was completely lost until an Aztec carving was discovered in the heart of Mexico City in 1978. The site became part of the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1987.
Excavation of the great temple began in 1978, when the stone sculpture of the moon goddess Coyolxauhqui was unearthed by electric company workers. From 1978 to 1982, archeologist Eduardo Moctezuma and his team of experts worked to excavate the area that forms the present location of the temple.
p.s. The temple was called the Huei Teocalli in the Nahuatl language and dedicated simultaneously to two gods, Huitzilopochtli, god of war and Tlaloc, god of rain and agriculture, each of which had a shrine at the top of the pyramid with separate staircases.
Museo del Templo Mayor/Museum of the Great Temple 遺址博物館—which was inaugurated in 1987, designed by architect Ramirez Vazquez was constructed to house the discoveries made during the excavation of the remains of the Templo Mayor.
11. Museo Franz Mayer
Museo Franz Mayer opened in 1986 in a beautifully restored 16th-century building on Plaza de la Santa Veracruz on the north side of La Alameda. The museum maintains Latin America’s largest collection of decorative arts which was amassed by stockbroker and financial professional Franz Mayer.
12. Plaza de San Fernando
13. Monumento a la Revolución/Monument to the Revolution革命紀念塔 The Monumento a la Revolución is a landmark and monument commemorating the Mexican Revolution. It is located in Plaza de la República which divides Revolution Avenue between the avenues Paseo de la Reforma and Avenida de los Insurgentes in downtown Mexico City.
The open building was designed by Carlos Obregón Santacilia in an eclectic Art Deco and Mexican socialist realism style, over the existing cupola structure of the cancelled Palacio Legislativo Federal (Federal Legislative Palace) by Émile Bénard. Construction on the Monument began in 1932 and took six years to complete.
p.s. The structure also functions as a mausoleum for the heroes of the Mexican Revolution of 1910. Beneath the Monument to the Revolution is the Museo Nacional de la Revolución (enter directly across from the Frontón).
16. Reforrna rio de la Plata
17. Museo de Antropologia
18. Arquimedes Campos Eliseos
19A. Centro Comercial Antara
Antara Fashion Hall is an upscale open-air shopping center in Polanco (opened in 2006). The center was designed by renowned Mexican architect Javier Sordo Madaleno. It is composed of 3 separate stories and was built on what used to be a General Motors car lot.
19B. Museo Soumaya The Museo Soumaya was founded in 1994 and originally located at the site of an old paper factory, in the Plaza Loreto of San Ángel, in the southern part of Mexico City. The new location of the Museo Soumaya in a large mixed-use development, Plaza Carso in Nuevo Polanco area was officially inaugurated in 2011 which cost over $70 million to build. The Soumaya Museum serves to house a diverse collection of international painting, sculpture, and object art, including the world’s second large collection of Auguste Rodin sculptures (380 pieces).
The new building, a shiny silver cloud-like structure reminiscent of a Rodin sculpture, was designed by the Mexican architect Fernando Romero, who is married to a daughter of Carlos Slim. It is 150 feet in height, sitting on an elevated base and encased in a serpentine skin of over 16,000 shimmering hexagonal aluminum tiles.
走馬看花的逛了一圈墨西哥市，對其街頭獨特的景象，嘖嘖稱奇、難以忘懷，I only wish I could have more time to explore every stop!