Oaxaca mural

Oaxaca mural

Sunday, February 24, 2019

The Garden Plaza

For as long as I can remember, Mexico City's main plaza, the Zócalo, has been a vast paved area.  But in the late 19th century and the first half of the 20th century it was a garden with trees, grassy areas and flowers.

The last time that I was on the Zócalo, about a week ago, there was a photographic exhibit with historic pictures showing the plaza as it use to be.

This undated photograph is a view of Zócalo looking north from the balcony of the city hall toward the Cathedral.

This picture, also undated, looks to the east toward the National Palace.

The Zócalo in 1938

Looking toward the Zócalo from 20 de Noviembre Avenue.
The buildings are illuminated for Independence Day in 1944.

The National Palace illuminated for Independence Day in 1944

The Zócalo in 1954

In most Mexican cities, the main plaza is a pleasant park-like setting.  That would be nice in  Mexico City, but it probably would not work.   The Zócalo is the scene of frequent political rallies and protests as well holiday celebrations.  On such occasions the square can fit a crowd of more the 100,000.  I doubt that a garden would survive such events. 


  1. Here, after all the hullabaloo of September 15th, then Dia de los Muertos and a few other events where everything just gets trampled, they just replant. Plants are so inexpensive in Mexico, that it is not an issue. I really like the large Zocalo as a garden plaza.........

    1. Plants may be inexpensive, but the cost of constantly planting the huge Zócalo would not be cheap. People were criticizing the city government for spending a couple million pesos for decorating the Zócalo with poinsettias for Christmas.