Catedral Metropolitana#7 in Best Things To Do in Mexico City
Mexico's national cathedral – the vaulting, austere, ornate church on the Zócalo's north end – was once the site of an ancient Aztec precinct, so it has housed the city's spiritual core for centuries. The cathedral was built between 1573 and 1813 after the Spanish conquest of Tenochtitlán and is considered one of Mexico City's many must-see attractions. Highlights of the cathedral include five naves, 14 chapels, underground catacombs and a painting by famed Spanish artist Bartolomé Esteban Murillo.
Depending on your interest in Mexican history and architecture, you could spend anywhere from an hour to a full day at the cathedral. Recent visitors said the massive structure is stunning to behold, and even if you don't want to take the time to explore the inside, it's worth the photo op of the exterior. The cathedral is open daily and admission is free. For more information, visit the cathedral's website (in Spanish).
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#1 Museo Nacional de Antropología
Located within the famous Chapultepec Forest, the Museo Nacional de Antropología (National Museum of Anthropology) holds artifacts from Mexico's pre-Columbian era, dating from about 100 B.C. to A.D. 1521. The facility houses artifacts, including the famous Piedra del Sol and the iconic Aztec Calendar Stone, as well as the famed 16th-century statue of Xochipilli, the Aztec god of art, games, beauty, dance, and maize (among others). The museum offers a look at how tradition, culture and life were formed in all regions of Mexico.
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