Coyoacán & University City together make up two of the most important parts of Mexico City.
Coyoacán is famous in its own right. One of the classic pre-Columbian towns, it's been a home to a succession of famous personalities. It was always a charming day in the country for visitors and city residents alike. Click here to zero in on the Centro de Coyoacán.
The Nahuatl name probably means “place of coyotes.” Hernán Cortés used the area as his headquarters during his conquest of the Tenochtitlan, and it was the first capital of New Spain for those early years.
Coyoacán remained independent until well into the 19th century, only becoming part of the Federal District in 1857. By the mid-20th century, something of Coyoacán's charm was tamed when farms, former lakes, and forests were turned into city. But lots of neighborhoods retain the layouts, plazas, and narrow streets of those early towns and villages.
Totally within greater Coyoacán, the University City (Ciudad universitaria) is home to the giant National Autonomous University of Mexico. A UNESCO World Heritage site, it's home to more cultural and historical sites than almost anywhere in the country. The project was designed by architects Mario Pani and Enrique del Moral, and built beginning in the 1950s. At more than 1,000 hectares (2,500 acres), it's a very large part of the south of the city.