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Mexico City's Palacios

Mexico City's Palacios are almost - but not quite - lost in the urban landscape of today. Describing it as the "City of Palaces" may sound a mere pretense if one isn't careful to look around. In fact, the "City of Palaces" moniker was penned by an English traveler, Charles Latrobe who visited way back in the mid-19th century.

While the word "palacio" gets used for everything from a department store to the Palacio de los Deportes to the every kind of government and official building, the city was called thus by Latrobe, for its residential palaces.

Mexico City's Palacios are a window into the world of a largely forgotten people. And to understand the Mexico of today, it never hurts to peer into the lives of some of the people who lived in Mexico's past.

18th-century homes for the wealthy and the nobility are seldom taller than two stories. Sadly, that means it's even easier to miss them among today's high-rise buildings. But there are more than a few of these palatial homes. Most fortunately, many of them can be visited, for a coffee, on a trip to a museum, or even on a night out on the town.

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