Mexico City, the heart of Mexico's history, culture and art
What is Mexico City
The name México is derived from the Nahuatl language of the Mexica people, one of the people who lived in the basin of Mexico before the arrival of the Spanish in XNUMX.The area around Mexico City, the capital, used to be a large rabbit-shaped lake.
There was an island in the middle of the lake.It later became Tenochtitlan, the capital of the Mexica (Aztec) Empire, and the area where the Zocalo, the center of present-day Mexico City, is located.The remaining lakes are part of Zumpango to the north, Texcoco to the east of the Zocalo and Chalco to the south.
Mexico City is today one of the most important cities in Latin America's economy.From a historical point of view, before the Spanish settlement in XNUMX as mentioned above, the Aztec (correctly Mexica) empire flourished from around XNUMX.Even earlier, the Teotihuacan culture, about XNUMX kilometers northeast of Mexico City, flourished from XNUMX BC to about XNUMX AD.
History of "Mexico"
The name México comes from the legend of the Mexica (Aztec) Empire.The famous word Aztec comes from the island of Astlan, once inhabited by the Aztecs.There are still various theories about the place, and it is not possible to identify it, but it is believed that it was in the northwestern part of Mexico City, around present-day Nayarit and Zacatecas.People from Astlan came to be called "Azteca" by adding "ka", which means "people" in Nahuatl, to the place name of Astlan.There was a custom among the Aztecs to worship the "moon", and the moon god was called Mexituli or Mesi. Write Metzitli.There was a certain warrior and leader among the Aztecs.His name is Huitzilopochtli.They receive a "revelation" from God.The idea was to build the capital of the Aztecs on an island where an eagle perched on a nopal (cactus) had a snake in its mouth.The Aztecs, led by Huitzilo Poshturi, who received the oracle, began to call themselves "Mexica", meaning followers of their moon god Mexituli.I also added "ka" to the end of the word to make it mean a person.Time passed, and in 2 (2 houses/XNUMX calli), the successors of the Aztec warrior Huitzilo Poshturi built Tenochtitlan, the capital of the Mexica, on an "island" in the area where the current Zocalo is located in central Mexico City. constructed.This is why the trapezoidal structure on the right side of the famous Huey Teocalli, also known as Templomagor, is dedicated to Huyzilo-Pošturi.Then, by adding ``ko'', which means ``place'' in Nahuatl, to the god Mexituli, it became ``meshi no place'', that is, ``Mexico''.At that time, the X in Spanish was pronounced on the S line, but now it is pronounced on the H line, so the word "Mexico" became the name of the country.
☝Lake Texcoco in the Messika period
The red circle is the historic district where the current Zocalo is located.It used to be an island.
The black line around it is present-day Mexico City.
The airport is on the right (east) of the red circle.
We will guide you efficiently to the true face of Mexico City.
Of course, on our tours, if you wish, we can take you first to tourist spots that are listed in guidebooks, but you can also visit the market “Mercado”, which can be said to be a food storehouse for local residents, and other places far away. There are small restaurants where you can eat local dishes that you can't go to, pozole restaurants that only locals go to, and tacos that are popular among Mexicans.real mexicoYou can feel it on your skin.
Of course, those places are not “famous” nor are they listed in guidebooks, so they are commonplace places, so you can’t go on a general tour.
Bellas Artes Theater
Xochimilco's traditional chinampa zone
Madero street and blue tile houses in the historic center of Mexico City
The ruins of Tenochtitlan, the capital of the Messican empire known to the Aztecs
Teotihuacan, one of the largest cities in Mesoamerica
What is Teotihuacan
It is a culture with many mysteries, such as which ethnic groups lived there, the political system, and the reasons for its decline.Construction began around 200 B.C. by the Otopame tribe, reached its peak around A.D. 650, and then declined sharply, with the inhabitants disappearing around A.D. 750. The reason for this is still unknown. Hmm.It covers an area of 24㎢ and is thought to have once housed as many as 20 people.
Teotihuacan means "a place where people become gods" in Nahuatl. Teo means "sacred place" in Teotl, and Tihuacan means "place to become a god" in Tehuacan.Another theory called "Teohuacan" was proposed in 2018, but the truth has not yet been elucidated.The name Teotihuacan was given by the Mexicans, known to the Aztecs, and the original name prior to that is still unknown.
It was built based on meticulous city planning, and the "Road of the Dead" (note: there was no concept of road at the time, so the term "road" in general explanations is fundamentally incorrect) that stretches from north to south. It stretches for 5 km, continues to cultivated land at the bottom, and ends at the "Pyramid of the Moon" (note: in Mexican archeology, it is called a religious building), but the extension line is behind it. It faces the top of the hills of Cerro Gordo.Like many other Mesoamerican religious buildings, it was designed for the rising sun on February 2 and the mountains to the east.It was clearly a class society, an "international" city-state jointly run by diverse cultures from across Mesoamerica, trading with the Mayan culture of Guatemala in the south and the peoples of Zacatecas in the north. It seems thatIn the Mexican (Aztec) creation myth, Teotihuacan was depicted as "the place where time begins".According to the myth, when the "New Time" began, they kindled a fire in the darkness, and two gods entered it and became sacrifices, ascended to heaven and became the sun and the moon.The Pyramids of the Sun and Moon were also so named by the Mexican (Aztec) people to worship their gods.This urban design was later followed in Tula and Tenochtitlan, and the terraced architectural style known as the tarudo tablero also spread from this place to various parts of Mesoamerica during this period.
Pyramid of the sun
path of the dead
A mysterious layered structure that can be seen in various parts of Mesoamerica
Top is today, bottom is Teotihuacan in the 1870s
Recommended for these people!
- Those who want to feel the “true face of Mexico”
- Those who don't have time
- Female travel
- Those who want to extend their wings as a sexual minority (LGBTQ+)
- People who like culture and nature
- Elderly people and people with physical disabilities who want to fully enjoy Mexico
- Old and young men and women spending time in agony
- Commemorative trip with a small number of people (graduation trip, birthday, wedding anniversary, XNUMXth birthday celebration, filial piety, etc.)
Of course, people other than the above people are also very welcome!