7. Mexico City's Historical Sights: Audio Guided Walking Tour
Trace Mexico City‘s evolution from an Aztec settlement to a modern metropolis with over 20 million people. On this walking tour, artist, professor, and Context Travel expert Julio Pastor will share how the Aztecs left their homeland “Aztlán” for the area that would become Mexico, revealing the city's long history, and showing you its captivating sights. Starting at the Templo Mayor de México Tenochtitlan ruins, once the religious center of the Aztec City known as Tenochtitlán, Julio will share pre-hispanic traditions and tell you how the War of Independence that changed Mexico forever was started. You‘ll see Plaza de la Constitución, the historic square known locally as Zocalo CDMX. There, you‘ll learn how the city was originally a lake which the Spanish decided to fill, eventually resulting in flooding and unstable ground that caused Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral to sink for many years. As you make your way to Palacio de Bellas Artes where our tour ends, you‘ll dive deep into Mexico‘s turbulent war with the US, during which Mexicans lost half their territory. You‘ll also hear how Mexico City became its own autonomous state, how local artists are incorporating Aztec elements into their modern sculptures, and why there‘s a statue of the Spanish King Charles IV riding his horse in Plaza Manuel Tolsá (Manuel Tolsá Square). Along the way, you‘ll have a chance to: • Learn about the 200-year-long construction of the Mexico City Cosmopolitan Cathedral and its many influences throughout its development • Grasp the speed in which the Aztecs grew their new settlement on the lake into an empire that controlled the area connecting the Pacific Ocean to the Caribbean Sea • Hear about Mexico‘s turbulent history in the 1800s from the War of Independence against Spain, to the war with the US and, finally, the Guerra de Reforma (Mexican Civil War) • Discover the degree to which the ancient Aztec city of Tenochtitlan was destroyed after the Spanish won the War of Conquest over the Aztecs in 1521 • Journey back in time to 1325, the year of the foundation of Tenochtitlán and dive deep into the ancient culture and language of the Aztecs • Get an idea of what Mexican identity looked like both before and after European culture was imposed • Find out the historical meaning behind Cinco de Mayo • Become familiar with estipite, a type of column that is one of the most distinguishable elements of the Churrigueresque style (a Spanish Baroque style of elaborate sculptural architecture) • Appreciate the production of ceramics in colonial Mexico and how this was the first step to modern-day globalization • See several historical palaces in different styles and from different eras, including Palacio Postal, Palacio de Iturbide, and Palacio de Mineria By the end of this hour-long tour, you‘ll have a deeper understanding of Mexico City‘s ancient origins and residents, as well as how the city transformed as its rulers changed.