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Considered to be one of the most perfect artistic expressions of its age, this church was constructed in the baroque style of the well-known Spanish architect Jose de Churriguera. The beauty and grace of the building are equaled only by the Cathedral Metropolitan next door. The facade is similar in style to altarpieces for a church's interior, and there is a special resemblance to the Altar de los Reyes (Kings Altar) located within the cathedral itself. The difference lies in the fact that this facade was not created out of wood or gold, as was traditional at the time, but rather of stone flanked by tezontle walls, which accentuates the rich and precise handiwork.
Pasaje Catedral is located at behind the Metropolitan Cathedral. The incense aroma of this passage will make you think you are in a chapel and it is more or less a religious place. You will find objects and books relating to Catholicism at the various small stalls. From idols to candles, Bibles to rosaries and vestments. There are also herbal stores which are run by herbalists.
Legend has it that the Palace of Axayácatl, where Moctezuma II once gave shelter to Hernán Cortés and his captains, once stood here. However, over the course of time, the Monte de Piedad Nacional was constructed on the spot. This building dates back to 1775. At the beginning of the twentieth century, a new floor was added, making it larger, but not affecting its elegant appearance. Visitors today will find a huge shop here that sells second-hand objects.
In 1519, when the first Spaniards marched into the city of Tenochtitlán, it was the heart of the Aztec Empire. Founded on a lake island in 1325, the city was the nerve center of political and economic control of an extensive area of the Americas. More than 200,000 people lived in an urban area measuring almost 15 square kilometers (5 square miles), which included approximately 80 civil and religious buildings. The most important of these was the Templo Mayor, or Main Temple, on the crest of which were found two shrines; one dedicated to the god of war Huizilopochtli, and the other to the rain god Tláloc. Today, you can still see the temple's pyramidal base, enlarged seven times in 200 years. To one side of the site is the Casa de los Caballeros Aguila, House of the Men-Eagle, which once housed an ancient order of elite warriors. A museum, called Museo del Templo Mayor, dedicated to the temple was set up in 1987 to preserve and showcase the findings from archaeological sites of the shrine and around the main square. The four story building inside the complex was designed by Pedro Ramírez Vázque and comprises of artifacts such as the stone disk of Coyolxauhqui, urns, musical instruments and knives.
Centro Histórico is a heritage quarter in Mexico City and home to some of its finest architecture. This UNESCO World Heritage Site was once the power center of both the Aztec Empire and New Spain and preserves their unique architectural legacies. 1550 structures in this neighborhood have historical value and exhibit architectural styles such as Art Deco, Beaux-Arts, Italiante and Baroque. A walk through the streets reveals diverse buildings dating from the 16th to 20th Centuries and a plethora of museums. Famous structures here include the Palacio Nacional and the Catedral Metropolitana. This locality also encompasses the Zócalo or the Plaza de la Constitución, Latin America's largest city square. It is the perfect place for those looking to soak in old-world Mexican culture. The best time to visit the Centro Histórico is during the Festival del Centro Histórico, a celebration of culture.
A collection of anonymous oils from the 18th and 19th centuries is housed in La Enseñanza, a convent built in 1754 in a beautiful Baroque style. The original choral stands are practically still intact, with the latticed windows that allowed the resident nuns to see without being seen. This, in fact, was quite a rare attribute in a Mexican convent. To visit the art gallery and choral stands, just ask for permission to do so on Sundays after mass, at around 1pm.
The Plaza de la Constitución is the main square of Mexico's Federal District and the epicenter for events, festivals and protests. The plaza is more commonly known as the Zócalo. At one time destined as a monument to independence—planned but never built—the word has become synonymous with main plazas throughout Mexico. The Spaniards erected their main institutions, between the 16th and 18th Centuries, around the plaza, built on the former ceremonial site of Tenochtitlán. Daily flag ceremonies take place at 6a and 6p.
This church, a shining example of Spanish architect Jose de Churriguera s baroque style, dates back to the second half of the 18th century. It formed part of the Conjunto Conventual de la Compañía de María, a religious order dedicated to the education of the abandoned mixed-race daughters of Spaniards and Native Americans. There are altarpieces dedicated to San Juan Nepomuceno and San Ignacio de Loyola, amongst others, as well as paintings venerating the Virgin of Pilar. A visit to this church is an unforgettable experience. It houses many finely-crafted altarpieces, and an overwhelming amount of gold, creating an incredible feeling of openness and light. It is a beautiful piece of baroque work that impresses with an intelligent use of decorative objects in a small space.