Mexico City, Mexico

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The capital of Mexico, Mexico City is situated in the southern part of the high central plateau that is the Valley of Mexico. Surrounded by mountains, the city is built on the site of lakes that were filled in by the Aztecs to prevent flooding. Consequently there are problems of stability. There is no winter although the rainy season occurs between May and Sept.


Archaeological evidence points to habitation around a network of lakes 20,000 years ago. This became the metropolis of Teotihuacán, with around 200,000 inhabitants, 50 km northeast of Mexico City. Founded by the Aztecs as Mexico-Tenochtitlán in the fourteenth century, the settlement was a city of causeways and stone buildings built in the middle of a lake. When Hernán Cortés attacked Mexico-Tenochtitlán in 1521, the city covered around 13 km2 of reclaimed land, equal to any European city of the time.

Having destroyed Tenochtitlán, Cortés built his own colonial city, incorporating the stones of the Aztec...

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