Mexico City is the capital and largest city of Mexico and the most-populous city in North America. Mexico City is one of the most important cultural and financial centres in the world. It is located in the Valley of Mexico (Valle de México), a large valley in the high plateaus in the center of Mexico. The city has 16 subdivisions, formerly known as boroughs.
Mexico City is one of the most important economic hubs in Latin America. The city proper produces 15.8% of the country’s gross domestic product. Mexico City is a destination for many foreign tourists. The Historic center of Mexico City (Centro Histórico) and the “floating gardens” of Xochimilco in the southern borough have been declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. Landmarks in the Historic Center include the Plaza de la Constitución (Zócalo), the main central square with its epoch-contrasting Spanish-era Metropolitan Cathedral and National Palace, ancient Aztec temple ruins Templo Mayor (“Major Temple”) and modern structures, all within a few steps of one another. The most recognizable icon of Mexico City is the golden Angel of Independence on the wide, elegant avenue Paseo de la Reforma, modeled by the order of the Emperor Maximilian of Mexico after the Champs-Élysées in Paris. Chapultepec Park houses the Chapultepec Castle, now a museum on a hill that overlooks the park and its numerous museums, monuments and the national zoo and the National Museum of Anthropology (which houses the Aztec Calendar Stone). Another piece of architecture is the Palacio de Bellas Artes, a white marble theatre/museum whose weight is such that it has gradually been sinking into the soft ground below. Mexico City has numerous museums dedicated to art, including Mexican colonial, modern and contemporary art, and international art.
Mexico City offers a variety of cuisines: restaurants specializing in the regional cuisines of Mexico’s 31 states are available in the city, and the city also has several branches of internationally recognized restaurants. Mexico City offers an immense and varied consumer retail market, ranging from basic foods to ultra high-end luxury goods. Chapultepec, the city’s most iconic public park, has history back to the Aztec emperors who used the area as a retreat. It is south of Polanco district, and houses the Chapultepec Zoo the main city’s zoo, several ponds and seven museums, including the National Museum of Anthropology.