Famed tenor and Mexico native Placido Domingo heads up an all-star
line-up of performances. He’ll help celebrate the renovation of the
city’s Teatro de la Ciudad (City Theater) with an inaugural
The Festival features visual arts performances, art exhibits, fine
food and other events held in several venues throughout this historic
center including the Teatro de la Ciudad, Palace of Fine Arts, the
Metropolitan Cathedral and the Palacio Postal.
Performances by topnotch troupes like the Paul Taylor Dance Company, Les Grands Ballets
Canadiens de Montreal, the Russian Chamber Orchestra, among others as
well as stagings of plays like Macbeth and Carmen are typical. There are also children's
activities including storytelling, museum tours, arts and crafts
activities and games. Food also plays an important part, including a
celebration of chiles rellenos, a hunter's feast and several other
themed dinners honoring some of Mexico City's distinguished chefs.
"Mexico City's Historic Center is known as the most important in
the Americas," said Dr. Julieta Campos, Secretary of Tourism of
Mexico City and President of the Mexico City Tourism Authority. "In
this one location, visitors can experience Mexico's history and culture
going back to the time of the Aztecs."
Origins of the Festival
The Historic Center, or Centro Historico, began as the hub of
the Aztec Empire in its capital, Tenochtitlán and continues to be the,
center of the city's cultural focus to this day. The focus of the Centro
Historico is Mexico City’s main square, the "Plaza de la
Constitucion" or, as it’s popularly known, " the Zocalo."
Covering nearly 670 blocks, the Centro Historico houses over 400
important cultural sites and monuments in a 10-square-kilometer area.
After the Revolution of 1910, the historic area began to fall into
serious decay through carelessness and abandonment. By 1960, Mexico City’s
once-proud center had fallen on hard times. It was during this time that
an interest arose to recover and preserve the artistic and historic
heritage of the area.
"The revitalization of the Centro Historico is a vital part of a
city-wide program to preserve our cultural and historic heritage, to
re-establish the heart of our great city, and to encourage a residents
to move back to downtown," said Dr. Campos.
The Festival of the Historical Center of the City of Mexico was born
in 1985, as a non-profit enterprise to help the rescue of the Centro
Historico. During the past 18 years, it has contributed to the cultural
environment of the area by presenting national and international artists
of high quality in its beautiful patios, government buildings, palaces,
cloisters and churches, with the support of the Government of the
Federal District and the National Council for the Culture and the Arts.
In 1988, the Festival Organizing Committee created the Medal of Merit
to recognize those people whose actions have contributed in an
exceptional way to the rescue and dignification of the artistic heritage
of the Centro Historico.
Proceeds from Festival events support a variety of children's causes,
including UNICEF and a special organization created specifically to help
homeless and underprivileged children living in and around the city's
center. Supported by private benefactors, the government of Mexico City
and the National Council of Arts and Culture, the Historic Center
Festival has grown each year to become one of the most celebrated
cultural events in North America. The Festival is an opportunity to
celebrate Mexico City's proud history and culture.
Ticket prices for individual events range from US$35 to US$150.
Series tickets for events, that include concerts, dinners and cocktail
parties, are available from the offices of the Festival del Centro
Histórico de la Ciudad de México, Benjamín Franklin 176, México, D.F.
11800; Tel 011-52-555-277-9697, 277-9817 or 272-2865; Fax