Trotsky Museum

 

Leon Trotsky Museum

Trotsky eventually quarreled with Rivera and in 1939 moved into his own residence in Coyoacán , a neighborhood in Mexico City . On May 24 , 1940 , he survived a raid on his home by Stalinist assassins under the leadership of GPU agent Iosif Romualdovich Grigulevich , Mexican Stalinist painter David Alfaro Siqueiros , and Vittorio Vidale . Later, on August 20 , 1940, Trotsky was successfully attacked in his home by a Stalinist agent, Ramón Mercader , who drove the pick of an ice axe into Trotsky’s skull.

 The blow was poorly delivered, however, and failed to kill Trotsky instantly, as Mercader had intended. Witnesses stated that Trotsky let out a blood-curdling cry and began struggling fiercely with Mercader. Hearing the commotion, Trotsky’s bodyguards burst into the room and nearly killed Mercader, but Trotsky stopped them, shouting, “Do not kill him! This man has a story to tell.” Trotsky died the next day.

Mercader later testified at his trial:

 I laid my raincoat on the table in such a way as to be able to remove the ice axe which was in the pocket. I decided not to miss the wonderful opportunity that presented itself. The moment Trotsky began reading the article, he gave me my chance; I took out the ice axe from the raincoat, gripped it in my hand and, with my eyes closed, dealt him a terrible blow on the head

 Trotsky’s house in Coyoacán was preserved in much the same condition as it was on the day of the assassination and is now a museum run by a board of intellectuals, including his grandson Esteban Volkov . The current director of the museum is Dr. Carlos Ramirez Sandoval under whose supervision the museum has improved considerably after years of neglect. Trotsky’s grave is located on its grounds.

 Trotsky was never formally rehabilitated by the Soviet government, despite the Glasnost-era rehabilitation of most other Old Bolsheviks killed during the Great Purges.

Frida Kahlo

 Frida Kahlo ( July 6 , 1907 – July 13 , 1954 ) was a Mexican painter of the indigenous culture of her country in a style combining realism and symbolism , an active Communist supporter, and wife of the Mexican muralist and cubist painter Diego Rivera .

 Kahlo was noted for her unconventional appearance, declining to remove her facial hair (she had a small mustache and unibrow which she exaggerated in self portraits), and for her flamboyantly styled clothing, drawn largely from traditional Mexican dress.

 An active Communist supporter, Kahlo and Rivera supported Leon Trotsky and he was granted political asylum in Mexico to protect him from Joseph Stalin and his government in Russia . Initially, Trotsky lived with Rivera and then at Frida’s home where he and Frida allegedly had an affair. Trotsky and his wife then moved to Coyoacán , and Trotsky was later assassinated. Sometime after Trotsky’s death, Frida denounced her former friend and praised the Soviet Union under Stalin. She spoke favorably of Mao , calling China “the new socialist hope”.

 Kahlo died on July 13 , 1954 , supposedly of a pulmonary embolism . She had been ill throughout the previous year and had a leg amputated owing to gangrene . However, an autopsy was never performed, and many are convinced that she committed suicide . A few days before her death she had written into her diary: “I hope the leaving is joyful; and I hope never to return”.

 The pre-Columbian urn holding her ashes is on display in her for

 

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Museum of Anthropology

 

Museo Nacional de Antropologia

 (The National Museum of Anthropology). This museum is located on Paseo de la Reforma Avenue and Gandhi street in the first section of Chapultepec Park. Underground: Auditorio. It contains significant anthropological finds from the nation of Mexico such as the Aztec Calendar Stone and the 16th-century Aztec statue of Xochipilli

 Opened in 1964 , by President Adolfo López Mateos, the museum has many fascinating exhibits, such as the Aztec calendar stone, giant stone Olmec heads from the jungles of Tabasco and Veracruz, treasures recovered from the sacred Mayan well in Chicen Itza, a replica of Lord Pacal’s Mayan tomb from Palenque and ethnological displays of rural Mexican life as it is still lived today. It also has a very good model of the location and layout of Tenochtitlan , which puts present-day Mexico City in perspective.

 Many tourists consider this to be the best museum in Mexico City.  Allow at least four to five hours to visit, with a seven to eight hour visit being optimal. The museum is most crowded on Sundays, and if you plan to take pictures, use a camera with the ability to compensate for low light because no flash is permitted.

Hours:
Tuesday to Saturday  9:00 am. to 19:00 pm.
Sundays from 10:00 am to 18:00 pm.
Monday is closed.

Sundays and holidays free entrance.

The National Museum of Anthropology Web Site

 

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Mexico City

 

Mexico City

 Mexico City, one of the world’s largest and most populated cities, forms a rough oval of about 60 by 40 kilometers, on the dry bed of lake Texcoco, surrounded on three sides by tall mountains. It’s a massive urban sprawl, stretching from the state of Mexico in the north, through the federal district ( Distrito Federal ), and into the state of Morelos in the south. Estimates place the population of the full metropolitan area at somewhere between 25 and 30 million people.

The Distrito Federal part of the city, which is where most tourists will spend the majority of their time, is divided up into 16 delegations, similar to the boroughs of New York , which in turn are divided into “colonies” (colonias), of which there are about 250. Knowing what colony you’re going to is essential to getting around, almost all locals will know where a given colony is (however, beware that there are some colonies with duplicate or very similar names). As with many very large cities, the structure is relatively decentralized, with several parts of the city having their own miniature “downtown areas”. However, the real downtown areas are Centro, the old city center, and Zona Rosa, the new business and entertainment district.

Mexico City has a (partly undeserved) bad reputation, both in terms of crime statistics, air pollution, and more contrived issues, such as earthquakes. However, crime levels are down over the last decade. Today, crime rate is about that of cities in the US, but skewed away from violent crime and homicide. As in most large cities, there are areas that are better avoided, especially at night, and precautions to take, but Mexico City is not a particularly dangerous city. As for air pollution, Mexico City is considered one of the most polluted in the world – some days it may choke your throat; other days (particularly on Sundays) it is barely noticeable. Pollution is at its worst in the hot, dry season in spring, from February to May, when there are days when it becomes bothersome even for people without respiratory conditions.

Mexico City’s night life is like all other aspects of the city; it’s huge. There is an enormous selection of clubs, bars, restaurants, cafes, and variations and combinations thereof to choose from. There is incredible variation, from ultramodern lounges in Santa Fe and Reforma, to decades-old dance halls in Centro and Roma. There are also pubs in Tlalpan and Coyoacan and clubs of every stripe in Insurgentes, Polanco, and the Zona Rosa.

Many famous places are dominated by the middle and upper classes in a very clear-cut way, which might be a good or bad thing depending on your outlook. Prices and location are a good key to who is allowed in; expect to be waved off at the door if you don’t look like the crowd. Many places have an unwritten dress code and will discard you in a minute if you speak or act “naco” (low-class). Looking like a foreigner, especially if you look American, Canadian or European will usually get you into the expensive places, if you’re dressed right. Once inside, people might be curious about you as a tourist, but expect to be left alone if you came in alone and are unable to draw a crowd by charm, ability, or generosity. Girls are conservative when one gets down to it, and guys draw crowds by attitude and by joining up with friends in the crowd.

D.F. Weather

Visit

Downtown Mexico City has been an urban area since the precolumbian 12th century, and the city is filled with historical buildings and landmarks from every epoch since then. It is also known as the City of Palaces, because of the large number of stately buildings, especially in the Centro. In addition, there’s an exceptional number of museums in the city.

  • The Zócalo in the Centro is the world’s second-largest square, surrounded by historic buildings, including the government palace.
  • The Museum of Modern Art and National Anthropological Museum in Chapultepec .
  • Plaza de las Tres Culturas in Tlatelolco has examples of modern, colonial, and pre-Columbian architecture, all around one square.
  • Basilica de Guadalupe , Catholicism’s holiest place in the Americas, and the destination of pilgrims from all over the world, especially during the yearly celebration on the 12th of December. It is the shrine that guards the shroud of our lady of Guadalupe.
  • Ciudad Universitaria, the campus of the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, one of the world’s largest, with more than 270,000 students every semester.
  • Coyoacán , a historic counterculture district which was home to Frida Kahlo, Leon Trotsky, and Diego Rivera, amongst others.
  • Tacuba, cemeteries during the dia de muertos celebration.
  • Xochimilco , a vast system of waterways and flower gardens in the south of the city.
  • Azteca Stadium , the country’s largest. Will be packed during “clasico” soccer matches (America vs. Chivas or America vs. Pumas).
  • Lucha libre , Mexican free wrestling.
  • Ciudadela crafts market
  • Alameda and Paseo de la Reforma
  • Sunday art market in the Mother’s Monument plaza
  • Plaza Mexico(bullfights)
  • Cineteca Nacional (National Film Archive)
  • Latinoamericana Tower for stunning views of the city.
  • Torre Mayor It’s the new and highest tower in town and good for more stunning views of the city.
  • Chapultepec park and Zoo
  • Bazar del Sábado in San Ángel. Every Saturday, artists show and sell their paintings in a beautiful, cobblestoned zone of the city. There are also stores where they sell handcrafts.
  • Mexico City National Cemetery – 31 Virginia Fabregas, Colonia San Rafael. Open daily except for December 25 and January 1; 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The cemetery is the final resting place for 750 unknown American soldiers lost during the Mexican-American War between 1846 and 1848. 813 other Americans are also interred here. Free.

Museums

  • National Anthropological Museum Chapultepec .
  • Museum of Modern Art Chapultepec .
  • Dolores Olmedo Museum Coyoacán .
  • Fine Arts Palace Museum (Palacio de Bellas Artes) Centro .
  • Rufino Tamayo Museum Chapultepec .
  • José Luis Cuevas Museum Centro .
  • National History Museum in Chapultepec’s Castle Chapultepec .
  • Papalote, children’s Museum Chapultepec .
  • Universum (National University’s Museum) Coyoacán . A science museum maintained by UNAM, the largest university in Latin America.
  • Casa Mural Diego Rivera Centro .
  • National Palace (Zocalo) Centro .
  • San Ildefonso Museum Centro .
  • Franz Meyer Museum Centro .
  • Mexico City’s Museum Centro .
  • Templo Mayor Museum (Zocalo) Centro .
  • San Carlos Museum Centro.
  • Frida Kahlo Museum
  • Leon Trotsky Museum
  • National Art Museum Centro .
  • National History Museum Chapultepec.

Teotihuacan

Teotihuacan, which stands in náhuatl for the place where men became gods , is a very important archeological site 40 km northeast from Mexico City , in Mexico . With the exception of the Egyptian pyramids, the ruins at “Teo” are unrivaled in terms of a combination of both scale and intrigue. According to legend this was where the Gods gathered to plan the creation of man.

Teotihuacan was the largest Pre-Columbian city in the Americas, reaching a total population of 150,000 at its height. The name is also used to refer to the civilization this city dominated, which at its greatest extent included most of Mesoamerica.

Construction of Teotihuacan commenced around 300 BC, with the Pyramid of the Sun built by 150 BC. The city reached its zenith approx. 150-450 AD

 

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