At the Heart of History

National Palace, Zocalo & Templo Mayor. Mexico.

National Palace, Zocalo & Templo Mayor. Mexico.

My first postcard from Mexico comes from Maggie. It shows the historic center in Mexico City. It shows Zocalo at the top, which is at the heart of the historic center. Zocalo is 240m X 240m, or 57 600 square meters, making it the largest city square in the world. The Zocalo is such an international symbol of the country, that I cannot help but recognise it whenever I see it as being Mexican but I have to say that I have never known what the name of the place was. Templo Mayor, also shown here, was an Aztec temple that was built in the period after 1325. It was one of the main temples in the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan. It was destroyed and rebuilt no less than 6 times! It was destroyed one last time in 1521 by the Spanish and in 1987 it gained UNESCO World Heritage Site status. The national palace is also located on the Zocalo and this 200 meter-long building is the seat of the federal executive of Mexico. Clearly the historic center in Mexico city could very easily live up to its name. Thanks a lot Maggie!

One thought on “At the Heart of History

  1. Interestingly, they only came across the Templo Mayor (or huei teocalli) in the 1970s quite by chance as the Spanish (being the delightful sort of invaders that they were) ripped down the original Aztec city and built over it. The temple was buried under a mound of earth which was slightly elevated but no one had any idea it was there until some electrical maintenance work was done and the electrician was like “Oh shit, Jorje, I think I’m onto something!” – well, that’s how I imagine it, anyway! Sorry for the geek-out, but I always think it’s amazing what lies right under our feet!

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