The Zocalo of the city of Oaxaca de Juarez is one of the most relevant tourist attractions for its history and design, an example of Colonial Architecture. Free of traffic, surrounded by trees, and decorated with elegant portals, it is the perfect place to start soaking up the city’s atmosphere and experience old-fashioned Oaxaca.
History of the Zocalo of Oaxaca
The Zocalo of Oaxaca, also known as Plaza de la Constitucion, was built in the center of the city during the days of the Colony, when the Spaniards arrived in 1529, work of Juan Pelaez de Berrio.
The Zocalo was created with the well-known old fashioned style of Central Garden, Church, Clerical Buildings and streets drawn in a square around the Plaza. Throughout the colonial period, it had no cobblestone or sidewalks, only a marble fountain placed in 1739.
Did you know that the word zocalo is in Mexico a synonym for main square? Interesting!
A little more than 100 years after adding the marble fountain, in 1857 they removed it to place the first kiosk surrounded by small trees. But, this kiosk did not last long on display. In 1881 they decided to remove it to inaugurate the statue of Benito Juárez in the center in 1885.
In 1901 they remodel the center of the square and add the current kiosk with art nouveau influence with metal structure and wrought iron railings. Later, local shops, fountains, and green quarry figures were added to brighten the Zocalo.
Back to the original design
In 2005, under the supervision of the Arch. Carlos E. Melgosa Castillo, the 4 cardinal points and the diagonals that pass through the center are accentuated, to preserve the old fashioned style of Oaxaca. Likewise, the planters were adapted to the size of the trees, and a new lighting system was integrated, to highlight all the elements.
The Zocalo of Oaxaca today
Currently, it has 11,000 mt2 of the total surface, and 2,200 mt2 of green areas. If you make a tour of this beautiful plaza you will find centenary laurels, basaltic stone floors on walkers, 4 fountains, and more than 10 planters.
By retaining the original old fashioned design, you can feel the history behind the entire construction. Strokes, colors, houses, churches, legends, gastronomy, warriors, citizens. Visiting the Zocalo in Oaxaca you will notice that it is a living tradition of a city with memory.
The Zocalo is an excellent starting point for getting to know Oaxaca de Juarez. The perfect place to walk and eat in its portals, as you will find many dining options. You can also find souvenir shops, sit in the central park and observe the beauty of the streets and the people who pass by; being one of the main attractions, it is visited by thousands of people every day.
It is also worth mentioning that in the evening there is street music, music band, and the State Marimba. Let yourself be delighted with typical music and many culinary cravings in the best spot in the city.
Did you know that…
The Historic Center of Oaxaca and the Archaeological Zone of Monte Alban, were declared World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO, in 1987? This is an example of a 16th-century viceregal city in its splendor, which preserves its original old fashioned design, architecture, and buildings representative of a cultural tradition of more than four centuries of art and history.
The Zocalo also dresses up at events
The Zocalo is the ideal place to attend cultural events and artistic shows. This central square on popular dates such as September 15 (Independence) and December 24 (Christmas Eve) becomes more showy and cheerful than usual.
The most popular night is Radish Night; a popular holiday on December 23 in which expert gardeners display radish-based figures.
The Plaza de la Constitucion (Zocalo) is located in the historic center of the city of Oaxaca de Juarez, between the streets of Hidalgo, Trujano, Flores Magon and Bustamante.
Captivated by the Oaxaca Zocalo? Without a doubt one of the favorite places to go, you can’t miss it!
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