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Itzcóatl Monument, Huacalco

Photo: Catedrales e Iglesias/Cathedrals and Churches, Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

The Itzcóatl Monument in Azcapotzalco honors the fourth tlatoani of the Mexica in ancient Tenochtitlan. He’s more famously honored with the Indios Verdes monument, and you can see a more detailed biography there. A priest and religious reformer who helped to defeat the Tepanecas, his presence here shows some of the nuance of his reign between 1428 and 1440.

The monument is in the middle of the 117 buildings of the giant Unidad Cuitláhuac. The housing development went up, beginning in 1966, with the knowledge that this was important historic territory.

Itzcóatl (1380–1440) had been born in the Huacalco calpulli (i.e.; neighborhood) to a Tepaneca slave girl. He’d later order a monument erected to her, more or less in this area. The parish of San Juan Huacalco is thought to be built on top of it. The Triple Alliance united the Mexica of Tenochtitlan with the peoples of Texcoco and Tlacopan (Tacuba) against the Tepaneca of Azcapotzalco. Could the original monument have been a concession to the newly subjected Tepaneca people?

The work is by Rosa Maria Ponzanelli (1943-2022). Ponzanelli’s monumental work is well represented across much of contemporary Mexico. Perhaps best-known is the “Fuente del Pescador” overlooking the bay of Chetumal. In Mexico City, with her son Pedro Ramírez Ponzanelli, she completed a bronze equestrian monument to Emiliano Zapata in Huipulco in 2014.

How to get here
  • Av. Cuitláhuac 360, Col. Unidad Cuitlahuac 3 & 4, Alc. Azcapotzalco, 02500 CDMX


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