Historic Centre of Mexico City and Xochimilco
The Incas, Mayas and the Aztecs were the 3 great civilizations found in Latin America. The Aztecs were found largely in the Valley of Mexico. Apparently, it is here that the Aztecs built what would eventually become their capital. The small island in the Lake of Texcoco is therefore the best place to study the history of the Aztecs.
The tales and testimonies given by the Spaniards that were the first Europeans to arrive here tell of a lake dotted with hundreds of canoes and an island city. The seafarers talk of towers and fortresses, all gleaming white. Unfortunately, the great city, Tenochtitlan would later be conquered by Spaniards. The conquering Spaniards completely destroyed the island city and started to drain the lake surrounding it.
To replace the Aztecs Island city, the Spaniards built what is today referred to as Mexico City (City of Palaces) that also happens to be the capital of the present day Mexico. The city was built following the European model, but was slightly altered by the work of the indigenous artisans and workers. It was also influenced by the canals and rivers that had characterized the Pre-Hispanic City
From 14th to the 19th century, Tenochtitlan, and much later Mexico City, had a decisive influence on the architectural development on the South American continent. Its use of monumental arts and space utilization was first enhanced by Aztec Empire and later by the New Spain.
Among the attractions that should draw your attention include the Monumental Complex of Templo Mayor that bears witness to the proliferation of extinct civilization. Another attraction that you would want to see is the cathedral and Palace of Fine Arts.
The New Spain Capital was characterized by a chequerboard layout, regular spacing of its plazas and streets, splendor of the religious architecture. This city has dominated this region for hundreds of years and has largely defined the urban landscape.
Another important landscape in this region is the Xochimilco that is located 28 kilometers from the south of the Mexico City. It is an outstanding example of traditional, pre-Hispanic land use. The land was utilized on the lagoons of the Mexico City. Floating Gardens can still be seen in this landscape. It is an ecological reserve of unmatched beauty.
Count yourself lucky for the chance to visit the city and Xochimilco Landscape.