Mexico City was founded in 1525 by Spaniards after defeating the Mexicas, later known as the Aztecs. The new city was built on the ruins of the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan. The Spaniards practically razed this ancient city.
Mexico City, also known as Federal District, is located in the Valley of Mexico, sometimes called the Basin of Mexico and it has a minimum altitude of 7,350 feet above sea level, which is rare for a city of such size and is surrounded by mountains and volcanoes that reach elevations of over 5,000 meters. Mexico City has a subtropical highland climate, due to its tropical location and high elevation. In addition to being the country's economic center, it is the capital of Mexico and where the federal power of the Union sits.
The City features a extensive range of activities inherent to a modern city, from shopping in bazaars and crafts markets in typical neighborhoods such as Coyoacán and San Angel, to elite-exclusive boutiques and shopping malls like those found in the Santa Fe and Polanco districts.
This Federal District has World Heritage Sites by UNESCO such as the Historic Center (where colonial-era buildings are such as the Metropolitan Cathedral and National Palace; the pre-Hispanic ruins of the Templo Mayor; contemporary buildings like the Palace of Fine Arts and the Torre Latinoamericana), and Xochimilco Ecological Park which is considered by many the "Venice of Mexico" because of canals connecting its "floating gardens," which can be reached by trajinera (a large punt boat).
There are also numerous museums, including the National Museum of Anthropology, considered to be one of the best in the world; the National Art Museum; the Casa Azul of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera; the Trosky Museum and the Museum of Modern Art.
Another popular spot to hang out is in La Condesa which is comparable to the Soho district in New York City or the Latin Quarter in Paris, the area today is fashionable and attracts young people, students, and artists. Its avenues are wide and tree-lined and although primarily residential, it is filled with restaurants, cafes, boutiques, and art galleries.To the north of the city is located the Basilica of Guadalupe. One of the most visited religious shrines; it is where the Virgin of Guadalupe appeared before San Juan Diego on the summit of the Cerro Del Tepeyac. It is one of the most important pilgrimage sites of Catholicism and is visited by several million people every year, especially around December 12, Lady of Guadalupe's Feast day.