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El Zócalo

It owes its name to the first Constitution enacted in Mexico, the Constitution of Cadiz promulgated in 1812. It is the main square and heart of Mexico, with its origin in the main square of the great Tenochtitlan. In the middle of the 19th century a column in the center of the square was planned to commemorate the Independence of Mexico but only the base ever came to be. People began to call it “El Zócalo” meaning, the base. It was the scene of receptions of Viceroys, funerals of archbishops, the auto de fe of the Inquisition and civil executions by the Crown of Spain.

It is considered, along with Beijing’s Tianannmen Square and Moscow’s Red Square, one of the three most important city squares in the world.

Heart of Mexico Walking Route: Zócalo – Templo Mayor

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Proyecto “Corredor de Cultura Digital”.

Nombre de la investigación:
Investigación Centro Histórico, Monumentos, Edificios y Puntos de Interés (2023)

Dirección de investigación y diseño de Rutas:
Acércate al Centro A.C.
Guadalupe Gómez Collada

Coordinación e investigación histórica:
Fideicomiso del Centro histórico
Dir. Maestra Loredana Montes

The Plaza de la Constitución is better known, across Mexico, as the Zócalo. It's the central plaza of the City and often referred to as the central plaza of the entire country. As such, it is the frequent site of many of the important events in the city. In the photo above it looks pretty empty but it's often very crowded. Throughout the year, it hosts events, fairs, carnivals, concerts, parades, and more. The plaza is, in fact, the center of ancient Tenochtitlan. When the Spanish took the city, they retained this plaza as the political and religious center of the country - and of course, of the city too. Surrounding the Zócalo The Zócalo is bordered on the north by the Metropolitan Cathedral of Mexico City. To the east is the National Palace, seat of the Federal Government. To the south is the Antiguo Palacio del Ayuntamiento, seat of the city government, and it's twin. To the west you will find private buildings, among them the Mercaderes building and the original Monte de Piedad. Along this side you'll find a few restaurants and terraces with spectacular views of the center city. After many efforts to revitalize the Historic Center, the Zócalo has beecome the culmination point of much of contemporary Mexican culture, politics, and expression. Photographer Spencer Tunick photographed 18,000 people here. A public skating rink has been set up here every winter since 2007. And the list goes on and on. Concerts have been by artists like Café Tacuba who drew 100,000 fans. Shakira more than doubled that number only a short time later. No matter when you visit, there will always be something going on at the Zócalo, where much of the history of the country and the city has been and will continue to be written.

  • For information on Turibus and Capital Bus tour bus stops, see the entry on the Plazuela del Marqués / Plaza Menor.  That's the northwest corner of the square, just west of the Cathedral.

How to get here
  • Plaza de la Constitución S/N, Centro Histórico de la Cdad. de México, Centro.


Mexico City Government Building

Nearest at 0.10 kms.

Metro Zócalo/Tenochtitlan

Nearest at 0.10 kms.

Museo de los Cabildos

Nearest at 0.10 kms.

El Balcón del Zócalo

Nearest at 0.2 kms.

Recomendado por CANIRAC

El Rey del Pavo

Nearest at 0.2 kms.

Recomendado por CANIRAC


Gran Hotel de la Ciudad de México

A landmark hotel on the edge of Mexico City's main plaza . . .

Templo Mayor Archaeological Site & Museum

One of the most important sites in the city, even today, don't miss the chance to visit the Templo Mayor.

The National Palace / New Houses of Moctezuma

One of Mexico City's proudest, most enormous parts of history, the Palacio dominates the entire east of the Zocalo.

Catedral Metropolitana

The first Cathedral to have been built in the Americas.

Antiguo Palacio del Ayuntamiento - Old City Hall Building

Among the earliest on the buildings on the Zócalo, it's still the seat of City government.

Practical guide and services