La Plaza de las Tres Culturas
Three very different architectural styles around a square that invites you to stroll, or to just sit and watch people go by.
Testimony of three periods
Sitting in this square or wandering about is a good way to learn at a glance the thrilling history of this country, Mexico. Before the arrival of the Spanish, this place was used by the Aztecs as a meeting point, with a gigantic marketplace where, according to chronicles, about 60,000 people gathered to exchange commodities. Back then this was the centre of the village of Tlatelolco, a name that is still given to the square, in which there is a small enclosed area in memory of the Aztec ceremonies. Regarding its architecture, we can easily distinguish the three stages of Mexican history that the square takes its name from. On one side there is a pyramid, a sample from pre-Hispanic times; a bit further back there's the church and convent of Santo Domingo, dating back to colonial days. Beside them is the concrete and glass building of the Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores (Ministry of Foreign Affairs), representative of a new era in Mexico. Inside it, a small monument keeps alive the memory of what happened in October 1968, when the Government ordered troops to shoot a crowd of students who were protesting peacefully in the square, killing hundreds of them and arresting thousands more only ten days before the start of the Olympic Games in Mexico City that same year.