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Architecture of Mexico. Must see and must visit landmarks

Angel of Independence, Mexico

Location on the map:   Interesting facts: » The Angel of Independence symbolizes the victory of Mexicans in the struggle for freedom.
» The angel with golden wings was constructed on the dome to mark the 100th anniversary. The seven-ton sculpture of the Greek Goddess is made of bronze and gilded. Nike holds hoops and the laurel wreath symbolizing broken chains and the desire to win correspondingly.
» One of the earthquakes damaged the sculpture and it was split into several pieces. Fortunately, it was restored. The Angel of Independence is placed on the podium. There are bronze sculptures in the corners of the podium. They symbolize peace, war, law, and justice.
» There are figurines of insurgents on top of the pedestal. The eternal flame burns in their honor. Colonnades are decorated with flying eagles.
» The President laid the first stone here in 1902. Besides state officials, guests from other countries took part in the monument opening ceremony.
» To see the Angel from the inside, you need to go upstairs to 45 meters. It is quite difficult as there are 200 metal and narrow steps. Moreover, some stairways are not illuminated.
» You can stay on the platform for no more than 15 minutes to see the statue closer.

Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mexico

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» In the middle of the 16th century, the peasant had a vision of the Virgin Mary. No one believed and then he brought roses that gave off a bright light as a proof. It was decided to build the cathedral on the hill, on the site of the appearance of the Virgin Mary.
» The sacred cloak of the peasant, in which the flowers were wrapped up, is kept in Basilica de Santa Maria de Guadalupe.
» The silky fabric is very soft. Researchers couldn’t explain the preservation of the cloak of agave leaves that is aged almost 500 centuries. You can clearly see the face of the Mother of God on the cloth. The Virgin of Guadalupe is worshipped as the celestial patron of the whole city.
» The number of pilgrims (12 million every year) is rising from year to year. There are two escalators for their convenience. They move in different directions. They also take visitors to the altar, above which you can see a blue cloth in the shatterproof glass box.
» The building is adjacent to the museum. Its exposure tells about events and items of the religious cult.
» The festivity dedicated to the Virgin of Guadalupe that takes place in the square in front of the cathedral has become an annual tradition.
» The building has a circular layout with a diameter of 100 meters. It accommodates almost a thousand worshipers.

Chapultepec Castle, Mexico

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» The Indians living here in the 8th century where the palace is located today called the hill Chapultepec, which is literally translated as “the hill of grasshoppers”.
» At its top, there is the former building of Mexican rulers of the 18th century. Over the years of its existence, Castillo de Chapultepec had served as the Emperor’s house, a military academy, and an astronomical observatory.
» Today, the national History Museum presents exhibitions about the history of ancient and modern Mexico. The interior of rooms on the ground and first floors have been preserved since the period of the Emperor’s reign. Here, you can see antique furniture and such household items, as old mirrors, tableware, and paintings.
» The Emperor’s Dining Room will impress you with the carved wooden ceiling. The hall is decorated with painted stained glass. The bathroom has remained almost unchangeable. In 19 showrooms, you can see medieval munitions, different weapons, and household items that represent historical moments of the country.
» The castle has another amazing feature: there is a botanical garden on the roof, in the open air.
» Near the building, there is an observation tower built in 1833. Near the castle, there is a parking area with a total area of 686 hectares. There are a zoo and different themed museums in its territory.

Estadio Azteca, Mexico

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» There is the Estadio Azteca at the site of the volcano that erupted at one time. To clear the area for the grand construction, thousand tons of igneous rocks were removed.
» Before construction began, project engineers visited several sports grounds around the world to view different types of stadiums.
» Architects even took into account the sun's movement. The daylight hits the dome of the building perpendicularly, squarely, and doesn’t distract sportsmen during the match.
» The stadium has a special sliding roof. It doesn’t cover the playing field but protects it from bad weather or scorching sun.
» There are four-tier stands around the field. They are divided into seven sectors.
» The football pitch is located 9 meters underground.
» The sports complex was built specifically for the 1968 Summer Olympics. It was used for football matches. The World Football Championship was held here.
» The stadium can host over 100 spectators.
» Sports contests and matches go hand in hand with music performances. The stadium welcomed such eminent guests, as Michael Jackson, Elton John, and famous opera singers.

La Luz del Mundo, Mexico

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» Some religious movements use architecture with new forms and constructions as an additional means of attracting new worshipers to their folds.
» The example of such an extraordinary construction is La Luz del Mundo. There is the Light of the World Association headquarter. It is located in the craft district of Hermosa Provincia.
» The church consists of seven levels. It is 90 meters high. The spire is seen from many points of the megacity and serves as an unusual pointer for tourists of Guadalajara.
» The cone building resembles the golden sanctuary seven-branched candlestick. The next platform is a “step” to enlightenment.
» The room can accommodate up to a hundred novices. During rites and services, the temple welcomes 300 thousand pilgrims from all over the world.
» The construction of the new church was possible due to the laymen’s donations.
» The multi-level structure let the constructor Leopoldo Fernandez leave his mark on global architecture.
» The project started to be developed in early 1983. The building was completed in 9 years.

La Santísima Church, Mexico

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» La Santísima Church has been built for over a hundred years. The first church was completed on 19 September 1667.
» Over time, the building was destroyed and needed to be restored. In 1754, it was closed for worshipers upon the order of the Archbishop due to the lack of funding. It was decided to build a new church in 12 months.
» After the restoration and reconstruction in 1783, the church was blessed for holding services.
» Many decorative figurines outside are very impressive. There are busts of twelve apostles. Exquisite sculptures represent missionaries who came here to introduce the locals to the Christian faith.
» The sculpture of Jesus putting his head on God’s knees has a magic influence on people. Worshippers visit La Santísima Church exactly for this purpose.
» The unique music clock voices the national anthem.
» The observation platform has a panoramic view of the historic city center.
» In 1932, the church and adjacent hospitals have been added to the register of the national attractions of Mexico.

Metropolitan Cathedral, Mexico

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» The high Catholic basilica of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary with a bell tower dates from the 16th century. It took two hundred years to construct it.
» The exterior is a mix of three architectural styles: Baroque, Renaissance, Neoclassicism.
» A tall construction made of grey stone and finished with white granite has two seventy-metre towers. It’s decorated with carved pillars and an arched entrance. The corner towers have 30 bells. The central one has a tower clock with a set of bells. Their melodious ring is repeated regularly.
» The outer side of the cathedral is decorated with the statues of patron saints and figures of apostles. Visitors are allowed inside, but they ought to observe the code of conduct accepted here.
» The interior decoration strikes with its luxury. Both walls and round pillars supporting the ceiling have elements of gilding, marble tiles, and ivory. The Altar of Forgiveness rises on the central pedestal.
» Two 18th-century organs that are the largest ones in Latin America are preserved in the cathedral. There’s a carved choir cherry in colour. The underground part has crypts with the remains of bishops who faithfully served the people. Many monarchs were crowned here.

Museum of Modern Art, Mexico

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» The architectural studio has designed the cultural site to introduce the general public to modern art. The building is suitable not only for static and temporary exhibitions, but also for art seminars.
» The site where the museum is located is not incidental: weather conditions and its fitness for the city landscape have been considered.
» The total area of the internal space if over 2000 square meters. The museum has 5 floors. At the first level, there are exhibitions and learning halls. On other floors, there are bookstores and cafes.
» The unique roof has been constructed for bright and natural lighting. The exterior design is extraordinary too: two round objects situated far away from each other are connected by stairs.
» In exhibition halls, you will learn about the art and life of modern local artists and see the paintings of eminent painters. Drawings, sculptures and unusual installations are also displayed in showrooms.
» You can also see here some part of the collection of sculptures in the garden.

National Anthropology Museum, Mexico

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» Every year, almost 2 million people visit the Anthropology Museum to learn about the origin and development of the human race.
» There is a solid stone block at the entrance. The boulder represents the god of rainfalls. The 168-ton basalt statue was found in one of the Mexican cities.
» The Museum in Mexico is divided into 2 sectors, each of which includes 11 showrooms. The ground floor is an anthropological hall. It houses the collection telling about classes of people living in South America.
» The main attraction is an ancient calendar, the Sun Stone, that represents the life of the Aztec tribe living in the Valley of Mexico.
» The second level displays an ethnographic exposure. It tells about the life of modern Mexicans from all parts of the world. You can also use the services of audio guides.
» In the lobby, you can see static pictures of the museum and its exhibits. There is a fresco that depicts the jaguar and the dragon on the wall. It was created by the famous avant-garde artist Tamayo.
» In the courtyard, there is a fountain in the shape of a stone umbrella. The 11-meter handle upholds the dome, from which the water falls.

National Palace, Mexico

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» The Head of State and the Ministry of Finance have settled in the National Palace of red brick. It is located in Constitution Square (Zocalo). The building project was endorsed by the conquistador in 1692.
» The President’s study, living room and bedroom (1860) are open for visitors. The exhibition is organized here. Personal belongings of the politician are kept here too. The items displayed will tell about the establishment of the Mexican Congress.
» Museum exhibits are displayed in 19 halls. At the first level, the wall painting from the floor to the ceiling shows the city as it looked like before the Spanish conquerors had come.
» The walls of the second floor are covered with frescoes that depict the 2000-year-old history of Mexico. One of the sides of the painting depicts aborigines’ life.
» The other one shows the pictures of today’s country. The master has decorated the panels for 16 years. He expressed the stages of the state development in his pieces of art.
» There are three entrances to the palace. The first one leads to prison cells and the torture chamber. The Southern entrance that is closed for tourists leads to the President’s equipment room. The Central one leads to a comfortable patio.
» There is a fountain and a garden with special types of cactuses. The palace resembles a fortress with its exterior.

Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» In the historic center, there is the Palace of Fine Arts.
» When it was being built, the items dating back to the period of the Aztec Empire had been found in the ground.
» It started to be built in 1904. The construction lasted 30 years because it was hampered by the civil war.
» The outer walls are lined with white Carrara marble (the most precious type of this material). The building was projected by the Italian architect at the beginning of the 20th century. The huge construction is upheld by a steel frame. There is the sculpture of the eagle on the palace dome. It is surrounded by symbolic figurines of the goddess and the muse.
» The interior walls are decorated with historical paintings created by Mexican artists.
» There are a lot of rooms in the palace, some of which are occupied by the Opera House. Its scene is decorated with curtains made in the Workshop Tiffany. It is made of fine glass pieces. As a result, it depicts the volcano. The audience hall accommodates a thousand people.
» The building includes different themed museums, of architecture and fine arts. There are seven showrooms in the National Museum. Each of them is dedicated to a particular local artist.
» The palace is surrounded by sculptures and the park.

Palacio de los Deportes, Mexico

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» Palacio de los Deportes is a home sports ground for different competitions.
» It is included in the single Magdalena Mixhuca Sports City Complex. Leisure activities, exhibitions, and music concerts are also held here.
» The capacity of the sports ground is 20 thousand spectators. In 1958, the International Basketball Championship was held here. The arena can be also used as a volleyball field.
» The palace complex is an oval construction with a rectangular playground. Palacio de los Deportes is an indoor arena.
» The dome is covered with a waterproof transparent cloth. The ceiling is upheld by reinforced concrete and steel arches. Its total area is 27 m2. There is a parking area for visitors’ convenience.
» The building has three floors. The first level is designed for rooms for players, referees, and invited individuals. There are separate commentator’s cabins. The second level includes the central entrance, spacious lobbies, and pathways to stands. The third platform is a special stand for VIPs.

Temple de San Juan Bautista, Mexico

Location on the map:   Interesting facts: » In 1944, the village of Nuevo San Juan Parangaricutiro was fully destroyed by the lava of the erupting volcano. Temple de San Juan Bautista built in the 16th century was affected by the natural disaster too.
» The hot lava broke through the fence and entered the church. Only the altar and the spire of the burnt chapel have remained undamaged. You can still see them surrounded by the ruins of the temple.
» There is talk that the long chime is heard in the surroundings. The fragments of the white building are surrounded by fossils and make a contrast with a black field. The back wall of the construction broke off. The side walls, the front part of the facade, and the altar have remained almost unchangeable.
» The locals came here to lay flowers on the altar before the Easter. Song festivals and religious rites are held near the preserved chapel.
» San Juan Parangaricutiro Church is the only unit of the old construction that still can be seen in the 25-kilometre lava field.
» The villager sold his plot to the artist. He painted a thousand pictures of this unusual place. There is the House of God in the foreground. The natural disaster is also mentioned in many literary works.

Torre Latinoamericana, Mexico

Location on the map:     Interesting facts:
» Torre Latinoamericana is a 183-meter skyscraper. The construction itself is 138 meters high plus 44 meters of the antenna. It is an excellent pointer that is seen from any part of the city.
» The tower has 44 floors. The museum occupies 36th-44th levels. On the 30th floor, there is Bicentenario, the museum that tells about 200 years of history. Here, you can see portraits of political figures, awards, and outfits. The 37th level is occupied by a cafe and gift shops. On the 38th floor, there is a photo exhibition and the exposure “The City and the Tower throughout the Centuries”. The model of the tower is interesting too. The 42nd and 43rd levels are glazed platforms called Mirador. The 44th floor is an open platform covered with metal mesh. Tourists can use automatic telescopes here.
» The building is finished mostly with glass and aluminum. The Torre Latinoamericana started to be built in 1949. It was completed in seven years.
» It was the first time when technological novelties that let skyscrapers withstand any seismic load had been used. 361 support beams are 33 meters underground. Piles were constructed in such a way that the tower was not destroyed in the earthquake (1957-1985).
» The building has a total weight of over 24 tons and a total area of almost 28 square meters.
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Photogallery of Mexico architecture

What to see in top cities of Mexico

Mexico City
Do you want to explore wondrous and mysterious areas of the city? Places like that do exist in Mexico City. Make sure you visit Calzada de los Misterios - it is still not clearly known why the picturesque street was called mysterious. The street is really interesting to explore as there are many attractive looking buildings. The facades of some buildings are decorated with graffiti. There is also an old partially destroyed house on that street. Locals claim that the house is still unsold because … Read more
If you have not yet visited the ancient Mayan city of Chichen Itza, be sure to take a classic tour and walk around its surroundings. If you walk 300 meters north of the city, you can see an interesting object - The Dead Pit. This is the name of a large reservoir with a diameter of about 60 meters. This place has long been shrouded in mystery and fear. It is believed that it was here that the Mayans made human sacrifices in order to please the gods and bring rain. For tourists, The Dead Pit is … Read more

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