Metro Zócalo/Tenochtitlan is the Metro station at the very center of Mexico City on Line 2. It’s among the most important for international visitors, and for some, it will be the only station they see.
Named for the Plaza de la Constitución, which is popularly known as the Zócalo, it’s also commonly called the main city plaza for both the city and the country. The nearby points of interest are listed in many of these pages.
- A little known fact is that the name, el Zócalo resulted from an 1843 contest. Pushed by never not-controversial President Antonio López de Santa Anna, the contest called for a monument commemorating Mexico’s Independence. Lorenzo de la Hidalga, who’d designed the cupola over the nearby Ex-Teresa Arte Actual church, presented a winning entry. But due to a lack of funds, only the base of the monument was ever be built. It remained in the Plaza for some number of years until the planned monument was forgotten. “Zócalo” could be translated as base, skirting, or socket, but it’s now often used to refer to the main town plaza in cities all across Mexico.
- The station logo represents Mexico’s National Coat of Arms.
- This station is one of the stations not marked by signs at the entrances. This is to preserve the aesthetic of the area.
- In August 2020, the name “Tenochtitlan” was added in anticipation of the 500-year commemoration of the 1521 fall of Mexico-Tenochtitlan.
- The station also connects with a long pedestrian tunnel, the Pasaje Zócalo-Pino Suárez, with the Metro Pino Suárez station to the south. This is curiously lined with dozens of bookstores. It’s even home to a mini-cinema and a few cafes.
The station most famously houses a a series of models depicting the Plaza de la Constitución at three different points in the history of the City. These include the plaza as the Ceremonial Center of Mexico-Tenochtitlan (pictured above). Two others depict the colonial era, and in the early 20th century.
Many of the archaeological findings from the original excavation of the station and the Metro tunnels are today housed in the National Museum of Anthropology and in the Templo Mayor Site Museum.
Metro Zócalo sees about 64,600 people pass through everyday. As a relatively symmetrical station it’s one of the easiest to mistakenly board going in the wrong direction. Six exits and entrances are along the entire east side of the Zócalo.