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Zócalo or Plaza de la Constitucion is the central square of Mexico City. This square is the beating heart of Mexico's capital.

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Zócalo or Plaza de la Constitucion is the central square of Mexico City. This square is the beating heart of Mexico's capital.

The Zócalo is among the largest squares in the world - 57,600 metres² (240 m × 240 m). This beautiful square can hold more than 100,000 people. Since 1982, Zócalo has become the scene of a number of artistic and cultural events.

This area of Zocalo, occupies this open space since the Aztec periode. This area was the center of the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan.

The 4 sides of the huge square of the "Zócalo" are defined by the most important buildings in the history of Mexico:

To the north-east - Templo Mayor - remains of the most sacred temple of the Aztec symbol of the power of the gods and the Aztec emperor on his people
To the north - Catedral Metropolitana - a Christian response to the colonizers installed on the site of the ancient temple, a symbol of the Catholic Spanish rule
To the east - the National Palace – and his huge Mexican flag, the seat of political power
In the south - the Federal District buildings
In the west - the Old Portal de Mercaderes
At the north-west corner - the Nacional Monte de Piedad building.

In the centre of the square, you will find an enormous Mexican flag ceremoniously raised at 8am by the soldiers of the Mexican army, then lowered at 6pm and carried inside the National Palace.

Today the square is one large empty space, which is used for festivals, parades and demonstrations.

Finally, the most impressive of Mexico City downtown, remains all the streets and markets that extend all around. The "Zocalo" was already the largest market place in Central America from the time of the Aztecs and the center has not lost its dynamism and attractiveness.

You will often face difficulties in make your way into the permanent markets cluttering the streets. Do not forget to look up to admire the huge colonial palaces that follow one another in the nearby streets. Many museums and departments are located in these ancient palaces, and therefore you can easily return and visit them.

The "Zocalo" is accessible by metro to the "Zócalo" station. You can also get off at "Alameda" or "Bellas Artes" and you will walk through the street "5 de Mayo".
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