Didem Doğan

The Zócalo Square, Mexico City

The first morning I opened my eyes in Mexico, I found myself gazing at this gigantic square from the terrace of the hotel where I was having my breakfast. I wondered if it is among the largest squares in the world. This square which looks like a big rectangle, or a soccer field has been a ritual site since the beginning of the Aztec period in the 14th century. The Great Temple next to the square is the place the Aztec believed to be the center of the world. I am at the old town which is called ‘centro’ in the contemporary Mexico. I am walking around the square, while my feet are pulled down, and I feel that we are travelling in time down to an unknown era… One side of the square is covered by the walls of the National Palace, and on the other side is the City Cathedral bearing the signature of Hernan Cortez and the Spanish who came here in the beginning of the 16th century. I learned that the Sunstone I will see at the Museum of Anthropology was found at this cathedral. The stories of human sacrifice rituals our modern frame of mind in the 20th century cannot fathom, massive stone cups into which the shed blood was poured…