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Mexico City is the capital of Mexico and the second largest city in the world. About 9 1/3 million people live in Mexico City. Mexico City area size is 579 sq. mi. Mexico City lies 7,525 feet above sea level in the high, oval-shaped Valley of Mexico. Mexico City has more than 350 neighborhood districts called colonias. Like Mexican towns, many colonias have plazas(public squares). Churches, markets, restaurants, and theaters face the plazas. The Mexico City metropolitan area, with about 14 1/2 million people, is the world’s largest metropolitan area and its size area is 883 sq. mi. It’s the country’s commercial and industrial center. Mexico city’s metropolitan areas’ pollution and environmental damage has led some to warn off an environmental catastrophe in the near future. Mountains surround the valley Mexico City is in, and there is no natural drainage through them. Canals carry rain water out of the valley, but especially heavy rains may cause floods. Since the 1930’s parts of the city have been sinking as much as 1 foot a year and new buildings are constructed with special foundation to prevent them from sinking. Mexico City’s high altitude gives it a mild climate and the nights are cool throughout the year, although it’s in the tropics.
Mexico City has many beautiful palaces that were built during the Spanish colonial period. These buildings now houses government offices, museums, or shops. Mexico City is Mexico’s center of higher education, transportation and tourism.
Mexico City has more than four thousand elementary, vocational, and high schools. Mexico’s oldest and largest university is the National Autonomous University of Mexico. It was founded in 1551, and has more than 300,000 students. In 1954 its new campus was completed on the Pedregal, a plain in the southern part of the capital. Many of Mexico’s leading architects and artist designed and decorated the colorful campus in a mixture of Indian, Spanish Colonial, and modern styles.
In Mexico almost all roads lead to Mexico City. It is also the center of Mexico’s railroad network. the city’s subway are decorated in traditional Indian, Mexican, and Spanish styles, and began operating in 1970. The huge Benito Juarez International Airport opened in 1952 in Mexico City and is one of the main centers of international air travel in the Western Hemisphere. Flights also connected the capital with other large Mexican cities.
Mexico City communication has about 20 daily newspaper and they account for almost half the total newspaper circulation in Mexico. Several newspapers have a page printed in English. There are also English-language newspapers. Mexico City is Mexico’s broadcasting center. Mexico City has about 30 radio stations, 5 commercial television stations, and an educational TV channel.
Famous landmarks in Mexico City for the tourist are the Constitution Plaza, called the Zocala, is Mexico City’s chief plaza. It covers the site of the old Aztec capital’s main square; The block-long National Palace which was built in the 1600’s as the Spanish governor’s home. It now houses the offices of Mexico’s president and other officials; The heart of Mexico City ex tends westward from the Zocalo along busy avenidas (avenues). It ends near the Pasel de la Reforma, one of the most beautiful boulevards in the world; The wide, tree lined Paseo de la Reforma includes seven glorietas (landscaped circles in street intersections). A monument honoring a national hero or important event stands in each circle; North of the downtown area is the Plaza of the Three Cultures. It has ruins of ancient Aztec temples and of a Spanish Church built in 1524. Representing the third culture is a huge government housing project of boldly modern architecture; The Bosilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe is Mexico’s most famous religious shrine and stands in northern Mexico City, at the foot of Tepeyac Hill. Legend has it that she appeared on the hill to Juan Diego, a poor Indian, in December of 1531. Pilgrims from all over Mexico and from other countries come to worship at the shrine throughout the year; Attractions north of Mexico City include handsome Spanish colonial churches in Acalman (or Acolman) and Tepoztlan, Indian pyramids and temples at San Juan Teotihuacan, Tenayuca, and Tula. Lake Xochimilco, in the southeast part of the capital, is famous for its “floating gardens.”
Parks in downtown Mexico City includes
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