Alameda Central

Things to do, Walks and tours Cuauhtémoc
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Jacarandas en la Alameda Central
Foto: Raúl Fernández

Some 421 years ago, viceroy Luis de Velasco ordered the construction of a space that would contribute to the beautification of the city, and the recreation of its inhabitants. A year after its conception, work on the park began in 1593. And its name comes from the white poplars that were planted in the area three decades before, toward the southern part of the great Lake Texcoco dried out. Over the years the words poplar (álamo) and park grew to be synonymous, though there are plenty of poplar-free alamedas.

This is the spot where the annual Mexican Independence party was celebrated in the 1820s. Twenty years later, between 1847 and 1848, the US Army installed its barracks. The number of significant changes that this park has witnessed is impressive: From gates that used to block it off at night – even though the space has been illuminated by 2,000 electric streetlamps in 1898 – to a library. Beyond that, there have been many projects that never reached completion, specifically under the names of Federico E. Mariscal, Miguel Ángel de Quevedo and Adamo Boari, among whom had the idea of installing a crystal kiosk, a café and ice creamery, a greenhouse and even a rollercoaster, which was nearly erected in 1891.

Toward the end of 2012, the city’s oldest public park got a quick update which included two dancing fountains, as well the gazebos of the nymphs, where kids can be found soaking in the water. The automated system allows it to program each jet at different heights, a real spectacle when witnessed with its lighting system.

Another important detail is in the intelligent water filtration system that keeps it recycled, clear, clean and without any unpleasant smells. Each fountain has two machinery rooms, one for the computer system and another for the hydraulic system.

Another update was the cleaning of eight sculptures that top the fountains, and in some cases a full restauration of the pieces. The five pieces, including depictions of Benito Juárez, Beethoven and Humboldt, were given a more prominent position in the park for more people to enjoy.

By: Octavio Cárdenas


Venue name: Alameda Central
Address: Juárez s/n
Mexico City
Transport: Metro Bellas Artes, Metro Hidalgo
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