Zócalo is the central square of Mexico City. A common belief says that exactly in this place Aztecs saw the eagle sitting on a cactus devouring a snake. And according to the legend, the city should be created at the place where the eagle devours a snake sitting on a cactus. A lake there? Not a problem, dry it…. what Aztecs did.

That’s why if you watch old buildings in Mexico City, you will see that some of them sunk in the ground and the door start below the street level.

A statue of an eagle eating a snake obviously is placed on Zócalo in one of its corners.

Zócalo is the biggest public square in the world, a real perfect square of 240 x 240 m. In the nothern part bordered by a city Cathedral, on the east side has the National Palace, where president of Mexico performs the “grito” on the 15th of September.

Close to the Cathedral you will find Templo Mayor, Aztec temple, which was destroyed by Spanish in 1521 and the material served to build the Cathedral.

Zócalo is a place for many major events, and even hosts an icerink in December and January, everyone can try to skate!


The historical significance of Zócalo

Zócalo, located in the heart of Mexico City, is one of the most iconic and historically significant squares in the world. Officially known as Plaza de la Constitución, it serves as the main square of the city and has been a focal point of Mexican history and culture for centuries. With its grandeur and architectural splendor, Zócalo has witnessed numerous events that have shaped the nation’s identity. From political gatherings to cultural celebrations, this expansive square continues to be a vibrant hub of activity.


Zócalo’s cinematic starring role in Spectre

Zócalo’s cultural significance goes beyond its historical importance. It has also played a starring role in popular films, captivating audiences worldwide. One notable example is the James Bond film, “Spectre,” starring Daniel Craig as Agent 007. In a breathtaking scene, the square becomes the backdrop for a thrilling helicopter chase, showcasing Zócalo’s grandeur on the big screen. The film’s inclusion of this iconic location further cemented Zócalo’s status as a globally recognized landmark.



Spencer Tunick’s mesmerizing photography installations

Zócalo is not only a cinematic gem but also an inspiration for artists and photographers. Renowned American artist Spencer Tunick is known for his large-scale nude installations in public spaces around the world. In 2007, Tunick chose Zócalo as the setting for one of his most ambitious projects, where thousands of volunteers posed nude in the square. The resulting photographs showcased the beauty of the human form against the backdrop of Zócalo’s architectural splendor. Tunick’s installations highlighted the square’s unique ability to bring people together and inspire awe-inspiring artistic expressions.


spencer tunick


Exploring the rich cultural heritage of Zócalo

Beyond its cinematic appearances and artistic endeavors, Zócalo offers a treasure trove of cultural experiences. Surrounding the square, visitors can explore historic landmarks such as the Metropolitan Cathedral, the National Palace, and the Templo Mayor archaeological site. The Metropolitan Cathedral, an architectural masterpiece, stands as a symbol of Mexico’s rich religious heritage, while the National Palace houses stunning murals depicting the country’s history. The Templo Mayor, an ancient Aztec temple complex, reveals the fascinating pre-Hispanic roots of the city.

In addition to its historical and cultural attractions, Zócalo hosts vibrant events throughout the year. From traditional Mexican celebrations like Independence Day and Día de los Muertos to art festivals and concerts, the square pulsates with energy and excitement. These events provide visitors with a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in Mexico’s rich cultural tapestry while experiencing the lively atmosphere of Zócalo.


Significance of Zócalo for Mexican people

The beauty of Zócalo lies not only in its physical splendor but also in its ability to unite people from all walks of life. It serves as a gathering place for locals and tourists alike, fostering a sense of community and connection. Whether it’s enjoying a cup of coffee at a sidewalk café, exploring the surrounding museums, or simply taking in the architectural marvels, Zócalo offers a multifaceted experience that engages the senses and feeds the soul.

Zócalo stands as a testament to Mexico City’s rich history, cultural heritage, and artistic allure. From its starring role in films like “Spectre” to the captivating photography installations of Spencer Tunick, the square continues to captivate and inspire. As visitors explore Zócalo’s grand architecture, immerse themselves in its vibrant events, and delve into its rich cultural offerings, they become part of a living tapestry that connects the past, present, and future of Mexico.

Zócalo’s historical significance, cinematic fame, and artistic endeavors make it a must-visit destination for anyone exploring Mexico City. It is a place where ancient history meets modern culture, where the echoes of past events reverberate through the vibrant atmosphere. Whether you’re strolling through the square, admiring its architectural marvels, or participating in one of the many festivals and events, Zócalo offers a truly immersive experience.


You and Zócalo

As you wander through Zócalo, take a moment to absorb the energy and spirit of this iconic square. Marvel at the towering Cathedral, explore the captivating murals of the National Palace, and delve into the mysteries of the Templo Mayor. Reflect on the stories that unfold in this historic space and feel a sense of connection to the generations that have passed through its grandeur.

In Zócalo, you’ll find a microcosm of Mexico’s vibrant culture, where art, history, and tradition intertwine. It is a place that has witnessed triumphs and struggles, celebrations and protests, all of which have shaped the nation’s identity. Whether you’re a film enthusiast, an art lover, a history buff, or simply seeking to immerse yourself in the heartbeat of Mexico City, Zócalo offers a captivating experience that will leave a lasting impression.

So, next time you find yourself in Mexico City, make sure to carve out time to explore Zócalo. Allow yourself to be transported through time and immerse yourself in the rich cultural tapestry that unfolds within its grandeur. From the cinematic spectacles to the mesmerizing photography installations and the captivating history, Zócalo is a place that will ignite your imagination and leave you with a deeper appreciation for the cultural richness of Mexico.


How to get to Zócalo from Casa de Chiles?

Take a metro from Chapultepec direction Pantitlán. Change for the metro no 2 at Isabel la Catolica direction Cuatro Caminos. Get off at the next station: Zócalo. Attention: try to remember where is the station once you are at the surface, there is no sign of metro at the Zócalo at all…