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Calzada de Tlalpan

The Calzada de Tlalpan is, for international visitors, most likely to be visited on the Metro. Metro Line 2 travels the entire north-south length of the road.  As it does so on the surface level, this page is intended to give you an idea of what's going on out the windows. It's a lot to see. But if you know a bit more, you get the opportunity to visit a bit more, even in non-traditional places and neighborhoods.

Today's Calzada de Tlalpan dates from a road begun in 1432. Very early on, it was called the Ixtapalapan road. This began at the Templo Mayor, crossed the island southward. Then it struck out across the lake. It continued south all the way to what is today the Center of Tlalpan.

At the time of its construction, both this and the Tepeyacac ​​Causeway to the north were parts of a massive hydrological management project. The point of the road, as much as to provide access as a road, was to keep the brackish, salty waters out of the fresh water to the west in the main body of Lake Texcoco. The original raised causeway was 20 meters across!

The Spanish Arrival

The road is probably still most famous for the Spanish having marched up it on November 8, 1519. A monument in the Historic Center marks where the meeting was said to have taken place. Competing testimonies will place the meeting as far south as Metro Villa de Cortés.

The fall of Tenochtitlan would take place less than two years later. The road remained of vital importance straight through the colonial period. The first of a series of tram routes were laid down in 1883. And Metro Line 2 is also an heir to that history. Those trams crossed farmlands and pastures which are not entirely difficult to imagine today.

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