Other spots of interest are the flea market that gathers on Saturdays,
taking in artisans from all over the country bargaining with their
products. The Casa del Risco House
, dating from
the 18th century, and the Casa de Diego Rivera House
the Mexican mural painter deceased 1n 1957. His home has presently
become a well visited museum. San Angel is at the south of Mexico
is a traditional neighbourhood of pebbled
streets, colonial churches, noisy little markets, coffee shops and
quiet squares, among which can still be perceived evocations from
the past. Only recently, one could affirm that here you where at
the outskirts of the City, but the quick urban advance brushed away
the distance, merging Coyoacan with Mexico City. Coyoacan, "the
place of the coyotes" in the native tongue, existed well before
the arrival of the Spanish conquerors. The story goes that after
destroying Tenochtitlan, Hernan Cortes took this locality as his
dwelling place, so therefore it became momentarily the capital city
of New Spain (Nueva España was the former name given to Mexico by
the Spaniards at their arrival).
From this period remain the Palacio de Cortes Palace
facing the Jardines del Centenario Centennial Gardens, and the Templo
de San Juan Bautista Church
, one of the largest in the
Country, built between 1538 and 1582. But besides of serving as
the lair to a cruel conqueror, Coyoacan is also known as the cradle
of renowned intellectuals and artists, as Frida Kahlo, born in this
locality, and who later dwelled here with her husband, the mural
painter Diego de Rivera in the Casa Azul or Blue House, today turned
into a museum (247 London Street).
The Museo Frida Kahlo Museum
shelters a part of
her work and several sketches previous to her paintings, besides
love letters to and from Diego Rivera, the indigenous outfits that
she used to wear and other valuable objects. At six blocks distance,
at 45 Viena Street, stands the house where lived and was murdered
Leon Trotsky, the communist leader who fled from the Soviet Union
because of a difference of opinions with Stalin.
is an exclusive and cosmopolitan zone
that aroused during the decade of the twenties. Its first residents
were wealthy families of Jewish, Spanish and Lebanese extraction.
Located to the North of Chapultepec Park, it is supplied with luxurious
restaurants and many commercial premises, besides the already mentioned
Museo de Arte Contemporaneo
Museum of Modern Art,
an interesting and innovating museum with permanent exhibitions
of Mexican and foreign artists. It is located at the Campos Eliseos
Street, in the corner with Jorge Elliot Street. Inaugurated in 1984.
-La Piramide de Cuicuilco - Pyramid,
it is considered
as one of the oldest constructions in the Valley of Mexico. It is
a ceremonial complex that was built around the year 500 B.C. to
be deserted near the year 200 B.C. The lava of the Xitle volcano
completely covered it later. In 1923, the North American archaeologist
Byron Cummings unearthed it after a year's work and searching.
The Pyramid, whose name in the nahuatl tongue means "the place where one dances and sings", is arranged by four cones stacked on top of one another, connected by staircases and ramps. Its original height was over 27 metres, but time and weather had reduced them to less than 18.
, this is one of the most visited and
picturesque places in the City of Mexico, due to its floating gardens
and its water channels crossed by the romantic "trajineras", a type
of boat covered up with flowers. Placed at an hour's journey from
the Centre, its name means "flowering fields" in the nahuatl tongue,
while its origins go back to the people of the lakes in pre-Hispanic
Those people created the water gardens or chinanpas, which are rafts of knitted branches and covered with soil, over which were planted flowers and other kinds of plants. With time, the roots of these plants reached the bottom of the lake and anchored the rafts, turning them into small islands. This system has been preserved until the present day.
The adventure over the channels of Xochimilco starts at the havens,
where the "trajineras" are found. The weekends are particularly
seductive, with the presence of the strong voices of the mariachis,
besides the almost endless variety of typical food and beverages.
Of its colonial past, Xochimilco preserves the Church of San
, built in the later 16th century. In its interior
is one of the most ancient altar pieces of America.