The Cathedral and the Plaza de la Constitución
A giant square for a giant Cathedral... A mind-blowing setting for the most authentic DF centre.
The awe-inspiring Zócalo.
The Zócalo, as everyone calls this square, was originally named after the Cadiz Constitution and has been the heart of the city since Aztec times. In fact, it was built using the stones of the Aztec Empire's Templo Mayor (Main Temple), which was located in exactly the same spot and was destroyed during the siege. This is a very large square: its sides are each 240 metres long, which puts it amongst the largest in the world. Its inner area is surprisingly uncluttered, with just an enormous Mexican flag flying in its centre. Around it, however, there are important buildings, such as the Metropolitan Cathedral, the largest in Latin America, which shows at least four different styles on its façade, due to the fact that it was built over three centuries (1567 - 1813). Inside, the cathedral is quite spacious. The outstanding Altar de los Reyes (Altar of the Kings) is a real jewel, for the beauty of its carvings and for its dimensions, which make it the largest Mexican altarpiece. Nowadays, the Plaza de la Constitución is the place where big events take place, like Independence Day or New Year's celebrations, but it is also a popular venue for concerts or demonstrations.