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The city was originally built on an island of Lake Texcoco by the Aztecs in 1325 as Tenochtitlan, which was almost completely destroyed in the 1521 siege of Tenochtitlan, and subsequently redesigned and rebuilt in accordance with the Spanish urban standards.

In 1524, the municipality of Mexico City was established, known as México Tenochtitlán, After independence from Spain was achieved, the federal district was created in 1824.

Clockwise from top: skyline of Paseo de la Reforma, Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral, Skyline of Polanco, Palacio de Bellas Artes, The National Palace, Angel of Independence and Torre Latinoamericana It is located in the Valley of Mexico (Valle de México), a large valley in the high plateaus at the center of Mexico, at an altitude of 2,240 metres (7,350 ft). The 2009 estimated population for the city proper was approximately 8.84 million people, According to the most recent definition agreed upon by the federal and state governments, the Greater Mexico City population is 21.3 million people, making it the largest metropolitan area of the Western Hemisphere, the tenth-largest agglomeration, and the largest Spanish-speaking city in the world.

Mexico’s capital is both the oldest capital city in the Americas and one of two founded by Native Americans, the other being Quito, Ecuador.

By draining the area, the mosquito population dropped as did the frequency of the diseases they spread.

However, draining the wetlands also changed the habitat for fish and birds and the areas accessible for Indian cultivation close to the capital.

The Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral, the seat of the Archbishopric of New Spain, was constructed on another side of the Zócalo, as was the archbishop's palace, and across from it the building housing the City Council or ayuntamiento of the city.

A famous late seventeenth-century painting of the Zócalo by Cristóbal de Villalpando depicts the main square, which had been the old Aztec ceremonial center.

Between 13, Tenochtitlan grew in size and strength, eventually dominating the other city-states around Lake Texcoco and in the Valley of Mexico.In Mexico City, the Zócalo (main square) was the central place from which the grid was then built outward.The Spanish lived in the area closest to the main square in what was known as the traza, in orderly, well laid-out streets.The city had been the capital of the Aztec empire and in the colonial era, Mexico City became the capital of New Spain.The viceroy of Mexico or vice-king lived in the viceregal palace on the main square or Zócalo.

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