Yesterday I wandered around the old city and actually saw some places I had not seen before.
I came across this colonial building. It is now a cultural center run by the University of Mexico.
I went inside, and the lady at the front desk said that I could enter and take pictures of the courtyard.
It looked older than many of the colonial buildings. As I left, I asked the lady if she knew when it was built. She said it dated back to the late 16th century... so it's more than 400 years old! I later did a bit of research on the building. It is known as the House of Talavera, and it was once the home of a Spanish nobleman, the Marquis of Aguayo. When it was built, it was located on the shore of Lake Texcoco (the lake which once covered much of the valley where Mexico City is located). The house originally had gates where canoes could pull up to it.
The street across from the house is called Talavera Street, and it is a pedestrian street.
The street is also known as “Niño Dios” (God Child... i.e. Baby Jesus). All along this block there are religious statues, including several of young Jesus, that were placed here through private donations.
I am sure that in January all the stores are open and doing a thriving business.
At the next block the street changes its name to "Alhondiga". It is still a pedestrian street, but here it is crowded with a "tianguis" (outdoor market).
After a couple more blocks the street changes its name again. Now it is "Santísima", named after the Church "Santísima Trinidad" in the background. Now I am back in familiar territory although still not in an area visited by many tourists.
The original ornate and gold-gilt interior was replaced with a simpler neo-classic style.
Be careful, however, because the paved area in front of the church seems to be a favorite spot for young skateboarders.
From there it is not a long walk down Moneda Street to the Zócalo, Mexico City's main square.
Looking down the street you see the tiled dome of the Church of Santa Inés, and beyond that, you can make out one of the towers of the Cathedral.
Back on the Zócalo... back in tourist territory...
The National Palace
The Metropolitan Cathedral