Zocalo Mexico City

The Zocalo or Plaza de la Constitución is located in the heart of the Historic Center, in the first sector of the city. 

This square was the center of Tenochtitlan before the arrival of the Spanish conquerors and still remains the political and religious center, centuries after.

Today it is the big hub of the city and an events venue. 

The Zocalo is surrounded by the Metropolitan Cathedral of Mexico City, the National Palace, the Historic City Hall and the Government Building. In the center, the huge flag enhances national sentiment. 

Mexican Independence is remembered here every September 15th.

It regularly holds events and exhibits, some aimed at children, because in Mexico City children have a very special place.


The Mexico City zócalo – Plaza de la Constitución

Is one of the Mexican capital’s most well-known landmarks and plazas.

This historic spot dates way back to the time of the Aztecs, and is surely one of the city’s most historically and culturally intriguing destinations.

This grand square once constituted the ceremonial hub of the Aztec city, Tenochtitlan, and was previously called Plaza de Armas or Plaza Principal.

In fact, the term zócalo (meaning ‘base’ or ‘plinth’) as a description for a central plaza was only adopted into the common Mexican lexicon in the 19th century.

Supposedly, plans had been made to construct a large monument in the centre of the plaza, but nothing apart from the plinth was ever constructed, hence the term zócalo.

While the plinth disappeared, the name stuck and even spread to other large cities across Mexico, which begun to use the term zócalo to refer to their principal squares.

However, even though the zócalo existed during the Aztec period, it was only post-colonialization that it began to take the form we see today, due to the architectural decisions of Alonso García Bravo.

Previously dominated by looming silhouettes of Tenochtitlan’s temples and pyramids, such as the Templo Mayor, the zócalo nowadays finds itself ringed by similarly significant and emblematic buildings such as the Metropolitan Cathedral, the Palacio Nacional (built over the ruins of the last Aztec emperor’s former palace), the Old Portal de Mercaderes and Federal District buildings.

In Aztec times, the zócalo was a gathering place, as well as the site of rituals, ceremonies and parades.

This is a legacy which continues to this day, as the zócalo regularly finds itself the centre of national events, concerts and festivals, such as the annual Independence Day celebrations and Alebrije Parade.

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