After its independence from Spain, Mexico wanted to have a monument in its memory on the central square. Zócalo means base, or platform, and because of lack of money, the platform never got its monument, and even the platform has disappeared. Still, the name stuck, and although the official name of the square is Plaza de la Constitución, it is most commonly called Zócalo.
On it, you can find the cathedral, the National Palace, government buildings, remains of an ancient Aztec temple. During the day, it turns into a very lively place, on which demonstrations are held, all kinds of items are sold, love couples embracing, Indian dancers dressed in traditional costumes, wearing enormous feathers on their heads, traditional healers with their medicines, a row of parents in front of the cathedral wanting to baptize their children you can also find shoe polishers, food, drinks, and all kinds of other things.
The square also clearly shows the signs of the subsiding that is going on in Mexico City, buildings slowly capsizing in the enormous high altitude basin in which Mexico city was built. Especially the older buildings are clearly not standing firm. But as you contemplate the future of the city, the rhythm of the drums goes on, and reminds you of today, of the lively city and its inhabitants, that cheerfully enjoy the square in all its colourfullness.
Around the World in 80 Clicks
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Zocalo (Mexico). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Zocalo. Read more about this site.