Video: Paseo de la Reforma, an open book of art and history
Paseo de la Reforma (English: “Reform Promenade”) is a 12 kilometer long boulevard in Mexico City, Mexico, built during the Second Mexican Empire on the orders of Maximilian I of Mexico. When it was inaugurated, the avenue was given the name Paseo de la Emperatriz (“The Empress’s Promenade”) in honor of his consort, Empress Carlota of Mexico. Nowadays, the name commemorates the liberal reforms of 19th century president Benito Juárez.
This wide avenue runs in a straight line, cutting diagonally across the city. It was designed by Ferdinand von Rosenzweig in the 1860s and modeled after the great boulevards of Europe, such as Vienna’s Ringstrasse or the Champs-Élysées in Paris. It was Emperor Maximilians wish to directly link his Imperial residence, Chapultepec Castle, with the National Palace in the city center. It runs from Chapultepec Park, passes alongside the Torre Mayor (currently Latin America’s tallest building), and continues through the Zona Rosa and then to the Zócalo by Juárez Avenue and Francisco I. Madero Street.
More modern extensions continue the avenue at an angle to the old Paseo. To the northeast it continues towards Tlatelolco then it is divided into Calzada de Guadalupe and Calzada de los Misterios and reaches La Villa. To the east, it crosses Chapultepec park and passes south of Polanco on its way through the exclusive neighborhood of Las Lomas and then into Cuajimalpa and Santa Fe on the outskirts of the city, although when it reaches this point it is more a highway than a promenade.
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