Every year Americans head South of the border into Mexico in search of warm, sandy beaches, breathtakingly beautiful resorts, tequila belly shots and an array of other endless activities that have turned Mexico into a Mecca for tourists of all ages and walks of life. Unfortunately though what most tourists fail to see is the real Mexico with its rich cultural history. Those who wish to see the real Mexico should consider visiting Mexico city, which is built on top of the Aztec capital, Tenochtitlan and is the ideal spot to explore the Mexican culture with its rich background in family values, love, food, music and all else that help make life beautiful. Mexico city, the most populous metropolitan in the world, is unique in the sense that it sports both modern-day activities as well as ancient history. However, those who wish to visit Mexico city, the oldest capital city in the Americas, shouldn’t delay since this ancient city is sinking at a rate of six to eight inches per year.
Sport enthusiasts would be interested to know that the national sport of Mexico is bullfighting. Bullrings are found all over Mexico but the largest bullring in the world, La Monumenta, is located in Mexico city. Besides bullfighting the favorite sport in Mexico is soccer with baseball trailing in at a distant third. However, despite the Mexican people’s love affair with sports Mexico City has only hosted the Olympic Games once in 1968. Mexico is the only Latin American country to do so.
For the history buffs amongst us The Metropolitan Cathedral of Mexico City would be of particular interest. This Cathedral, which is dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, took nearly three centuries to complete. The construction of this cathedral began in 1573 but was dedicated, still unfinished, in 1656. This cathedral encompasses a mixture of architectural styles as a result of being built over such a long period of time. Unfortunately, despite considerable restoration efforts, this historical monument and religious symbol is sinking into the ground due to its uneven foundation, considerable weight and the city’s soft clay subsoil.
The mystics amongst us would enjoy visiting Templo Mayor, the main temple of the Aztecs, unearthed in Mexico City in 1978 by electric company workers. This temple which is dedicated to the rain god, Tlaloc, and the god of war, Huitzilopochtli, is believed to be a part of a much larger sacred center of the great city of Tenochtitlan. Visitors to these ruins can view the ruins from the sidewalk or pay a 45 pesos admission fee into Templo Mayor Museum and view the pieces unearthed up close.