Mexico City

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Mexico City

Like an enormous living museum, Mexico City provides an extraordinary showplace for the thousands of years of human cultural achievement that Mexico has attained. It ranks as one of the world's great capitals and is a must for anyone craving to understand Mexico's complex past, its fast-paced present, and its ever challenging future. The size and grandeur of the city are staggering. It is not only the oldest continuously inhabited city in the Western Hemisphere, but, by some accounts, has also become the largest city in the world. Before we look at present day Mexico City, let us look into it deep and storied past.

La Ciudad de los Palacios

Mexico City was founded over 700 years ago by the Aztecs. Instructed by their god of war, Huitzilopochtli, they journeyed to Lake Texcoco, where they were to look for an eagle eating a snake perched on a cactus growing from a rock or cave surrounded by water. They found this in 1325, and so began the city of Tenochtitlan. Although the land surrounding them was marshy and snake infested, the Aztecs came up with an ingenious way a planting crops. They created chinampas, or floating gardens, by bunching twigs together and stacking mud on top. These gardens were placed in shallow lake areas and rooted down by the crops or small trees planted in the middle. The Aztecs were a very religious people, as well, and built many temples, including the great Templo Mayor. Cannibalism was a key element of their religion, as they believed that it was necessary to feed human hearts to the gods to ensure that the sun would rise everyday. The Aztecs would find these less than willing human hosts in the numerous battles they fought. Due to an increasing population, estimated to be at 250,000 in the late 1400’s, the Aztecs were forced to expand their empire well beyond the cities original boundaries. As the Aztec warriors conquered these other outlying tribes, tribute payments were gained, leading to the cities massive wealth.

The Aztecs lived like this for 200 years until Spanish settlers, under Hernan Cortes, came and conquered the Aztecs in 1521. The Spanish were in awe of the cities tremendous wealth, and, thanks to superior weapons and tactics, easily defeated the Aztecs. Upon victory, the Spanish were quick to raze the entire city. The city was rapidly reconstructed as a Spanish city, and in the 15...

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.... There are small salsa clubs and crowded discos, as well as live concerts featuring the world's most popular stars. Ballet, theatre, folkloric shows, opera and philharmonic orchestras are also common. Boxing and wrestling events are held on most weekend nights. At Garibaldi Plaza the numerous Mariachi bands often play into the wee hours of the morning.

Mexico City is very old, the worlds largest city, the financial, political and cultural center of México, the nightlife capital of Mexico, one of the worlds great cities, one of the world's most difficult cities to drive in, filled with exciting things to see and do, and an energetic metropolis as well as an incredible place to visit. This is truly one of the most interesting and diverse cities in the world.

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