On this 3-hour Mexico City Day tour we'll join a local expert to trace the history of Mexico City from its days as the center of the Aztec Empire to the modern metropolis that is CDMX today. We'll visit a number of key sites, including Templo Mayor, the Metropolitan Cathedral, the Zocalo, and Bellas Artes. We'll also take in some famous Mexican murals created by Diego Rivera and his contemporaries—depictions of the events that have shaped the city that are integral to understanding the contemporary Mexican identity. This is a great tour for first-time visitors who want to get their bearings in the city and dive head-first into the pre-Hispanic era to the modern day. Our Mexico City Day Tour starts at Templo Mayor, the pre-Hispanic center of the city and one of Mexico’s most famous sites. Here, our docent will set the scene as we discuss the city’s Aztec foundations at this notable UNESCO World Heritage Site, which laid buried and undiscovered until 1978. We’ll go back as far as the the 14th century to discuss some of the treasures and rooms that have been uncovered in this former Aztec strategic center. Keeping the Templo in our sights, our group will head up to the Metropolitan Cathedral, the largest cathedral in the Americas. We’ll note its interesting architecture (Renaissance, Baroque, and Neo-Classical all coexist with one another) and pop into the choir room to view the impressive organ.Our visit may take an artistic turn as we head to San Ildefonso College, a former Baroque Jesuit college that’s also the birthplace of the muralist movement in Mexico. Here, we’ll find some of Mexico’s greatest artwork, including notable murals by Orozco and, of course, Diego Rivera’s first mural. Our path will continue through the Zocalo—the city’s historical center—as we head to the National Palace to see more Rivera murals, each exemplifying the nation's rich and tumultuous history. Our docent will be able to unpack the many layers of Mexican history represented in the art we have seen, from the arrival of the Aztec god Quetzalcóatl to the Mexican Revolution and the current post-revolutionary era. We’ll leave San Ildefonso, continuing our Mexico City Day Tour as we stroll down Calle Madero, a pedestrian thoroughfare, stopping briefly to admire the intricate tile design of 16th century palace “Casa de los Azulejos” (“House of Tiles”), now Sanborns Restaurant. We’ll continue to Bellas Artes, a stunning structure commissioned by President Porfirio Díaz in the early 20th century. We may discuss the white marble masterpiece from the exterior, as well as the Art Deco secret housed within. Depending on the interests of the group, our docent will take us inside to see further examples of Mexican history as told through muralists Tamayo, Rivera, Siqueiros, and Orozco.