The New Student's Reference Work/Mexico (city)

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The New Student's Reference Work  (1914) 
Mexico (city)

Mexico (mek′sĭ-kō), a city, the capital of the Republic of Mexico, is situated in the midst of the central tableland of the country, 7,347 feet above the sea.  It is known in history as the capital of the Montezumas, founded by the Aztecs about 1325.  The city was in its full glory when Cortez conquered it in 1521, destroying a large part of the ancient town.  He rebuilt it on its present plan, using a company of 400,000 Indians in the work.  It was occupied by the Spaniards for 300 years, and has been the scene of revolution and the battlefield for contending armies.  It to-day is a modern city in every sense of the word; the political, social, industrial and financial center of the republic, and with its suburbs has a population of 500,000.  The principal streets are broad and well-paved; the city is electrically lighted and is served by an electrical car-system which extends to suburban towns. There are numerous parks, of which the Alameda is chief, and many flowery boulevards and drives, including the famous Paseo de la Reforma, stretching between rows of magnificent trees for two miles, from the bronze equestrian statue of Charles IV to Chapultepec. Points of interest are the great cathedral, founded in 1524, with 13 chapels, a century in building and costing $2,000,000; the National Palace, the residence for 300 years of 63 Spanish viceroys and after independence the presidential residence; the National Museum, the vast enclosure filled and its walls hung with the relics of a vanished race; the Art Gallery, School of Mines and the Medical Building; and in the suburbs the Castle of Chapultepec; Guadalupe, the holiest of Mexican shrines; and La Viga Canal, 16 miles long, through a succession of floating islands. There are some manufactures, as cigars, gold and silver work and pottery, but the trade of the city is largely that of a receiving and distributing center. The great sewer completed by President Diaz at cost of $30,000,000, drains the Valley of Mexico into the Gulf, and has made a clean, healthy city.

Castle of Chapultepec.jpg
From Stereograph, Copyrighted by Underwood & Underwood, New York