Capital of the country, Mexico City has been described as the "biggest" city in the world. In reality, with over 20 million population and an area covering approximately 600 square miles it is probably one of the most densely populated. Regardless, Mexico City is truly one of the great capitals of the world. Its origin goes back to around the year 1325 when a nomad tribe of warriors called Aztecas, whose chieftain T enoch followed the instructions of Huitzilopochtli - their tribal deity - to settle "on an island on a lake where an eagle was devouring a serpent while perched on a cactus". That settlement became Tenochtitlan - a city with over 100,000 population living among splendid temples and pyramids built with the spoils gained from the many battles fought with neighboring tribes. By the time Christopher Columbus discovered the New World, the Aztecas dominance over neighboring tribes had started its decline.
Their nearby neighbors - the Tlaxcaltecas - became their bitter enemies and facilitated Cortez' march into Tenochtitlan and his eventual conquest over the Aztecas in 1521. Today's Mexico City is full of hustle and bustle. The underground Metro covers over 200 miles of routes within the city. Restaurants, museums, art galleries, fashion shops, tree lined boulevards, boutiques, taco stands, and the haute and demi mondes are present in Mexico City.
Culturally, Mexico City has something to offer the most jaded visitor. The Museum of Anthropology, built in the early 60's, rivals museums around the world. Visitors can spend hours, even days, viewing the extensive collection of pre-Columbian artifacts collected from sites around Mexico. Testimonials and remnants of the works of Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, Siqueiros, Tamayo and other notable painters are found throughout the city. Taking in a performance of the world-renowned Ballet Folkloric o is a must for first time visitors... and highly considered by repeat travelers.
The dawn to dusk effects on the Tiffany curtain image of the Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl at the Palace of Fine Arts are an impressive start to a whirlwind performance of flying colors in regional costumes, traditions and beautiful music.