November 12th, 2014

Mexico City – a city of three cultures

The city is situated at an altitude of 2240 m above sea level. Its population is about 15m people (with suburbs – up to 23mln), most of which – Catholic Christians. Metropolis is one of the largest and most beautiful in the world. This is the city's architectural treasures, international cuisine, brilliant nightlife and interesting neighborhoods. In the "open air museum" is 1436 monuments and memorials, 10 archaeological sites, 18 stadiums, 24 huge shopping center, 8 universities, the National Library, several academies, theaters, 2,500 restaurants, more than 100 museums, including one of the best in World Museum of Anthropology. In Mexico City the Aztec ruins of settlements coexist with modern skyscrapers, slums – with colonial palaces, dirt in the streets and smog gas polluted air – with green islands and floating on water beds, wooden gondolas on the canals – with the-art cars. The city has an extensive network of bus routes, the international airport, working underground, which was built for the Olympics in 1968.


According to legend, in the thirteenth century. after years of transition by highlands tribes mehikas, Aztec, Mayan and other led by the High Priest went to Lake Texcoco in a picturesque valley with fertile soil. On one of the islands in Lake Indians saw the sacred bird – an eagle sitting on a cactus and snake pecking. According to the leader, it was a good sign, and if you stay here and lay the city, then it is always good to overcome evil. (Today, in Mexico City in front of the Ministry of Justice on the street next to the Plaza of the Constitution is a monument depicting an eagle sitting on a cactus with a snake in its talons.) So in 1325 there was Tenochtitlan. 200 years for the Indians mehikas to build on the islands of the lake, connected by causeways, one of the biggest cities in the world at that time. All of his buildings were oriented exactly on the horizon north-south and east-west. It is possible that some of them were used as astronomical observatories, with which has been improved solar calendar of the Maya.

Grand urban complex consisted of 72 pyramids, temples, lined with polished stone, gleaming in the sun like silver. The main temple was at the base of a rectangle 81×76 m and a height of 45 m pyramids committed rites and sacrifices to the gods of Rain, Wind, Death of the Sun, the Moon, from the tops of the pyramids communicate with the gods, to watch the sun set and followed him.

Near places of worship and has a sales area of residence of the emperor of the New World – Montezuma II of Aztec. Carefully planned wide cobbled streets and shipping channels divides the city into quarters in the form of regular geometric shapes. Tenochtitlan at the time of arrival of the Spaniards numbered from 200 to 500 thousand inhabitants, which was more than in Madrid, capital of Spain.

In November 1519 the city got 150 Spanish conquistadors led by Hernan Cortes. Ruler Moctezuma II met them with royal honors, a banquet and handed Hernan sacred armor. Cortes soon tried to seize power and executed the emperor, but the coup failed. The leader of the Spaniards with a group of 20 soldiers miraculously managed to escape from the city, the corpses of their soldiers asleep channels in places destroyed suit. But he soon using tribal feuds? won over an army of Indians of Tlaxcala, numbering more than 450 thousand people. Fight the invaders headed nephew of Emperor Montezuma II – Cuauhtemoc. After a three-month siege of the city August 13, 1521 the Spaniards and their allies were able to defeat the emaciated defenders. A new era of the city, now as Mexico City – the administrative center of New Spain.

At the site of the first meeting with the emperor Moctezuma stone pyramids invaders destroyed on the personal instructions of Cortez erected hospital of the Holy Christ and the church. (After the death of Hernan left of the altar, according to the will, put the urn with his ashes.) Capital's central square and streets paved with stones also destroyed Aztec temple complex. In 1573 in the center of the stone pyramids Spaniards began construction of the largest cathedral of the New World. Grand building height of 65 m of gray and white granite built up to 1813 on the site of the Aztec ttsompantli – cult building that houses the remains of sacrificed.

For three centuries, Mexico was a colony of Spain. September 15, 1810 the priest Miguel Hidalgo hit a church bell and urged parishioners to fight the Spaniards. The war began for freedom, which ended in victory for the rebels in 1821 and the proclamation of the state of Mexico's independence. In 1843, downtown residents laid the foundation for a monument to the anniversary of the country's liberation from colonialism. But marshy soil donkey, construction stopped, the monument installed elsewhere, and the area became known as Chop Chop, which means the base, the foundation.

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