Just a few more photos of Mexico City Before I move on, here are a few more photos from my week in Mexico City. This is the Palacio de Bellas Artes (Palace of Fine Arts), a very prominent cultural center in Mexico City. It has hosted some of the most notable events in music, dance, theatre, opera and literature and has held important exhibitions of painting, sculpture and photography. Consequently, the Palacio de Bellas Artes has been called the “Cathedral of Art in Mexico”. The building is located on the western side of the historic center of Mexico City next to the Alameda Central park. The Palacio de Bellas Artes is surrounded by statues and a large plaza. It’s always filled with people, partly because wifi is free here. Here’s a front view of the palace of art. The initial design and construction was undertaken by Italian architect Adamo Boari in 1904, but complications arising from the soft subsoil and the political problem both before and during the Mexican Revolution, hindered then stopped construction completely by 1913. Construction began again in 1932 under Mexican architect Federico Mariscal and was completed in 1934. The exterior of the building is primarily Neoclassical and Art Nouveau and the interior is primarily Art Deco. The building is best known for its murals by Diego Rivera, Siqueiros and others, as well as the many exhibitions and theatrical performances its hosts, including the Ballet Folklorico de Mexico. Beside the Palace is Alameda Park, a large green space with benches, fountains and lots of statues.Alameda Central is a public municipal park in downtown Mexico City, adjacent to the Palacio de Bellas Artes, between Juarez Avenue and Hidalgo Avenue, both major thoroughfares. The park was created in 1529, when Viceroy Luis de Velasco decided to create green space here as a public park. The name comes from the Spanish word álamo, which means poplar tree, that were planted here. This park was part of the viceroy’s plan to develop what was, at that time, the western edge of the city. The area used to be an Aztec marketplace.This park has become a symbol of a traditional Mexican park and many other parks in the country take on the name “Alameda” as well.What is now the western section of the park originally was a plain plaza built during the Inquisition in Mexico and known as El Quemadero or The Burning Place. Here witches and others convicted by the Inquisitors were publicly burned at the stake. By the 1760s, the Inquisition had nearly come to an end. On the south side of the park, facing toward the street is the Hemiciclo a Juárez, which is a large white semi-circular monument to Benito Juárez, who is one of Mexico’s most beloved presidents. Art on the street, especially statues or murals, is a common occurrence. My hotel happened to be in China Town. Chinese food seems very popular with Mexicans and I was assured there is a large population of Chinese and other Asians in Mexico. One of my tour guides said that Pancho Villa was fond of Chinese cuisine. Buffets are popular eating spots for the hungry. Mariachis often serenade you during dinner. The veneration of saints can be seen on every corner. Shrines to Mary, mother of Jesus, are the most popular. Why am I taking a close up photo of the elevator buttons? Because I’d never seen “PB” as a floor designation. It means Planta Baja or Ground Floor or street level. Good to know!