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La Viga Area

La Viga was a giant and very famous canal that ran north-south from the Center to the Canal Nacional at the border between Coyoacán and Iztapalapa. In the minds of Mexico City residents, the name still recalls the old fish market that marked the point where coastal products would enter the City. In fact, the area's history is quite a bit more alluring.

During much of the 19th century, and even earlier, it was a lively canal side promenade. In the south it connected the present-day Jamaica market and Santa Anita countryside that extended all the way into Iztapalapa. Traffic passed through the historic Garita de la Viga, one of a series of garrisons which served as customs posts. 13 garrisons circled the colonial capital. The only one surviving to our day is that at San Lázaro in the east.

At the north, of course, the canal entered into Mexico City. It was still prominent enough at the beginning of the 20th century to have briefly hosted the Indios Verdes monuments, too big to ship to the Paris World Fair for which they were intended. The duo stood sentinel, briefly, at the intersection with today's Fray Servando, at the very north of the canal, and just west of the Mercado de Sonora.

Today, City residents will remember better La Nueva Viga. It's part of the giant Abastos center, to the south in Iztapalapa. But La Viga's long history can be recalled in the Linear park at the southern reaches of the old promenade. After Santa Anita, the old

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