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Saturday, 14 May 2016

Mexico City

HISTORY

Mexico City was first built in the 1520s after Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés destroyed the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan in the same area. It was originally located on the center of Lake Texcoco's, inland lake system, with the city reachable by canoe and by wide causeways to the mainland. Lake Texcoco is now mostly drained.

In 1524, the municipality of Mexico City was established, known as México Tenochtitlán, and as of 1585 it was officially known as Ciudad de México (Mexico City).

Mexico City served as the political, administrative and financial center of a major part of the Spanish colonial empire.

The Hospital of Jesus of Nazareth built in Mexico City in 1522 was the first hospital to be built in the New World. It was solely needed as the Spanish conquerors had left epidemics of smallpox, measles and influenza.

The Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral, the seat of the Archbishopric of New Spain, was constructed by the Spaniards over the ruins of the main Aztec temple. over a period of over two centuries, between 1573 and 1813.

The Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral .

The customs house in Mexico City, now the federal treasury, was started in 1730. Work was halted immediately when the builders estimated it would require ten years to complete the project. A beautiful Mexican girl, Sara de Acuna, promised to marry Juan Guitierrez if he would finish the building in six months. He accomplished the task just three days short of the deadline.

By the late 1700s, Mexico City had over 100,000 people. However, there were many slums, which caused epidemics.

A craze to build the most opulent residence possible reached its height in the last half of the 18th century. Many of these palaces can still be seen today, leading to Mexico City's nickname of "The City of Palaces."

The Battle for Mexico City was a week long series of engagements in the general vicinity of the city during the Mexican–American War. It culminated with the fall of Mexico City to Winfield Scott US troops on September 14, 1847.

This Carl Nebel painting depicts Winfield Scott entering the Plaza de la Constitución; 
In the late 1800s and early 1900s, electric light and gas were brought to Mexico City But there was a big difference between the rich western part and the poor eastern part of the city.

The first full color television program in the World, Paraíso Infantil was broadcast in Mexico City by XHGC-TV, Channel 5 on February 8 1963. It was a result of technical breakthrough advances made by Mexican Engineer Guillermo Gonzalez Camarena.


The 1968 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XIX Olympiad, were held in Mexico City in 1968.  It is the only Games ever held in Latin America, and it was the second ever outside of Western Europe, Australia, or the USA.

Mexico City metro opened in 1969. It displays Mayan, Aztec, and Olmec archaeological artifacts in some of its stations.

The Basilica of Guadalupe built in honor of Mary in Mexico City between 1974 and 1976  is the largest basilica in the Americas. It has a circular floorplan so that the image of the Virgin can be seen from any point within the building. The circular structure is 100 meters (330 feet) in diameter, and can accommodate up to 10,000 people.

Modern Basilica de Guadalupe. By Adan Hernandez Bahena - wikipedia Commons

FUN FACTS

Mexico City is in the Valley of Mexico at around 2,300 meters (7,800 feet) above sea level. Because its elevation is so high, temperatures are warm or mild year-round. It is a lot wetter in the summer than in the winter. Some parts of the city get frost in the winter.

The Greater Mexico City population is 21.2 million people, making it the largest metropolitan area in the western hemisphere, the tenth-largest agglomeration, and the largest Spanish-speaking city in the world.


The largest taxi fleet in the world is found in Mexico City. The city boasts a fleet of over 60,000 taxis.

The average number of cars stolen per day in Mexico City this year is 124.

Mexico City is sinking as much as 8 inches per year.

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