Arte e Poder
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The participation of Mesoamerican urbanism in the modern Western city from the Plaza Mayor of Mexico City

The city of Mexico-Tenochtitlan, upon which Mexico City was built, was one of the largest cities in the world at the time of the arrival of the Castilians. The organization of its central area and the architectural elements installed there demonstrated the continuity of Mesoamerican urbanism and its cosmology. They also prensented innovations from the Mexica people who settled there in the early 14th century.

From the analysis of the formation of the central area of colonial Mexico City in the 16th century, which was configured around the large square, the Plaza Mayor, it is possible to detect the permanence of the old Mexica city traces and components. This transcultural place presented a visuality of power that was non-existent in the cities of the territory currently known as Europe, especially in relation to the monumentality of its central square.

Therefore, this research presents the Mesoamerican collaboration in forming the center of urban power of what is conventionally called the West from the formation of the central area of colonial Mexico City in the 16th century. Hence, in addition to inserting Amerindian culture in Western art and city history, it seeks to point out the impact of the Mexican experience overseas, questioning the Eurocentric historiography that erased the knowledge and practices of the original peoples of America.

The Plaza Mayor of Mexico City, currently named Plaza de la Constitución, popularly known as the Zócalo, is a crucial place to understand the visual constitution of the space of power in the Western city from a Latin American perspective and its native peoples.