Friday, June 13, 2014

Day 3 - Mexico City

Sunday morning! Some roads were closed in the morning for people to cycle and jog. The weather was cooling. If I had time, I would love to cycle around and enjoy the cool weather and sun. 

Wiki: "Opened in 1964 by President Adolfo López Mateos, the museum has a number of significant exhibits, such as the Stone of the Sun (depicted below), giant stone heads of the Olmec civilization that were found in the jungles of Tabasco and Veracruz, treasures recovered from the Maya civilization, at the Sacred Cenote at Chichen Itza, a replica of the sarcophagal lid fromPacal's tomb at Palenque and ethnological displays of contemporary rural Mexican life. It also has a model of the location and layout of the former Aztec capital Tenochtitlan, the site of which is now occupied by the central area of modern-day Mexico Cityitself.
The permanent exhibitions on the ground floor cover all pre-Colombian civilizations located on the current territory of Mexico as well as in the southwestern states of the USA. They are classified as North, West, Maya, Mexican Gulf, Oaxaca, Mexico, Toltec, and Teotihuacan. The permanent expositions at the fist floor show the culture of Native American population of Mexico since the Spanish colonization."

It is a really good museum to understand the pre-Colombian civilization - Aztec and Mayans etc.. 

One of the exhibits. 
The impermanence of life.

This is an ornament used by a royalty or a very rich lady.
It is made of shell and was supposed to be very very expensive back in those days (in the inner part of Mexico). The value of Scarcity. 

This reminded me of the true value of Diamond, which is quite abundant and not as scarce as most people think. The scarcity value was artificially created by De Beers who was hoarding the Diamonds. Somehow, many people still pay lotsa money for this shinny stone.  

Also remind myself not to fall prey to marketing campaign and gimmicks.

Map of the different monuments and artifacts from various region in Mexico.
I was quite ignorant about Mexico history, not realizing that they were made up by various civilizations in different regions coexisting together.


Reconstruction of one of the monuments.
Interesting Art.

Olmeca-Xicalanca - Cacaxtla bird man mural. Interesting too!

Unique Culture.

Stone of the Sun (Aztec "Calendar").

Wiki: "The Aztec Calendar Stone, Sun Stone, Piedra del Sol, or Stone of the Five Eras is a late Post-Classic Mexicasculpture housed in the National Anthropology Museum in Mexico City, and is perhaps the most famous work of Aztec sculpture.[1] The stone is 358 centimetres (11.75 ft) in diameter and 98 centimetres (3.22 ft) thick, and it weighs about 24 tons.[2] Shortly after the Spanish Conquest, the monolithic sculpture was buried in the Zócalo, or main square of Mexico City. It was rediscovered on December 17, 1790 during repairs on the Mexico City Cathedral.[3][4] Following its rediscovery, the Calendar Stone was mounted on an exterior wall of the Cathedral, where it remained until 1885."

Stone of the Sun (Aztec "Calendar").

There was a prophecy about the end of the world in Dec 2012 due to the end of the Malayan Calender. We have heard about more prophecy about end of the world, judgement day etc... but we are still all around. Many people believed in these cults and sold their entire property to support the propagation of all these nonsense. Can't emphasize the need to have an independent critical mind - always questioning and querying.

The irony for this end of the world Malayan Prophecy is that it is based on an Aztec Calendar (not a Malayan one).

Looks Japanese.


Intricate Mask

Beheaded for sacrificial purposes.

Hierarchy in the ancient civilization.

Beautiful Art

One of the rulers was buried with these jades (which would bring him to paradise or something like that)

Beautiful & Colour Art piece.

Some thoughts after visiting the Museum:

1. All the possessions don't belong to us, we are just a temporary keeper. Look at the gold and ornaments, it used to belong to the kings/rich, but it belongs to the Museum now. So don't be too attached to physical items.

2. Mexico has many minority tribes and cultures. We should celebrate the diversity of our world instead of discriminating due to differences.

Polanco - the upscale area in Mexico City

Rolls Royce showroom in Polanco

Nice cafe in Polanco

Angel of Independence

Wiki: "The Angel of Independence (Spanish: El Ángel de la Independencia), most commonly known by the shortened nameEl Ángel and officially known as Monumento a la Independencia, is a victory column on a roundabout over Paseo de la Reforma in downtown Mexico City.
El Ángel was built in 1910 to commemorate the centennial of the beginning of Mexico's War of Independence. In later years it was made into a mausoleum for the most important heroes of that war. It is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Mexico City, and it has become a focal point for both celebration or protest. It resembles the July Column inParis and the Berlin Victory Column in Berlin."

A random altar in the middle of city near the Angel of Independence Statue.
Another evidence that Mexicans are very spiritual or superstitious.

Museo del Templo Mayor 

Wiki: "The Templo Mayor[1] was one of the main temples of the Aztecs in their capital city of Tenochtitlan, which is now Mexico City. Its architectural style belongs to the late Postclassic period of Mesoamerica. The temple was called the huei teocalli [ˈwei teoˈkalːi][2] in the Nahuatl language and dedicated simultaneously to two gods, Huitzilopochtli, god of war, and Tlaloc, god of rain and agriculture, each of which had a shrine at the top of the pyramid with separate staircases. The temple, measuring approximately 100 by 80 m (328 by 262 ft) at its base, dominated a Sacred Precinct.[3] Construction of the first temple began sometime after 1325, and it was rebuilt six times after that. The temple was destroyed by the Spanish in 1521.[4] The modern-day archeological site lies just to the northeast of the Zocalo, or main plaza of Mexico City, in the block between Seminario and Justo Sierra streets.[5]
The site is part of the Historic Center of Mexico City, which was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1987."

Aztec Ruin in the midst of the city.
Apparently, there was modern building over the ruin, and then, they decided to remove the building and restore the ancient Aztec building.

Model of the Aztec Monument.

Lotsa people

Offerings (outside the church)

After service...

After service...


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