Curiosities & Oddities Mexico Normal Travels

Sinking Buildings: a curse or consequence?


Dear Reader,

Mexico City could have an entire collection of strange facts and curiosities. Here is one. Sinking buildings are a curious phenomenon occurring in Mexico City affecting mainly Hispanic churches.

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The Ex Teresa Arte Actual museum is inclined over its right side

The ground is slowly giving up as most of these buildings were erected on an already built up Aztec city.
The Aztec’s legacy people of today dare to suggest the phenomenon to be a silent vengeful curse…

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The leaning Metropolitan Cathedral on the right side.

The city is sinking on a daily basis, so far it has gone down of about 10 metres in the last few decades.

One theory explains that underneath the city is located the aqueduct which sustains the thirst of over 9 million people. As millions of people drink its water, it slowly becomes less sustaintable and more prone to degradation and debilitation of the structure.
Another explanation dates back from the Aztecs and the Spanish arrival: during the Aztec period when the city was known as Tenochtitlan, the town was initially built on a Lake Texcoco by creating islands using dumped soil right into the lagoon. When the Spanish arrived they erected a second city on top of the Aztec ruins after been demolished. A city atop of another, basically.

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Templo Mayor Ruins (Main Temple), or the remains of it.

The base, however, was a lake. Drained and all, but still a lake.

This has caused buildings to lean and sink into the ground at a rate of up to one foot a year in the most extreme places.

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This is the pendulum hanging inside the Matropolitan Cathedral right on main aisle. If you look carefully, the pendulum shows you how the foundations of the cathedral have been shifting since it’s conception.

And last, a balcony that has suffered from unevenness of the ground and shows a wavy effect as a result of the ground’s debilitation.

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4 comments

  1. Mexico City is one of my favorite places so I was saddened to hear of the sinking. They have so many tribulations with the inversion layer of smog and traffic woes. Still I’d return in a heartbeat.

    1. Hello Elaine, thanks for commenting and I apologise for the delay in responding.

      What you say it’s true, DF is slowly sinking and it has been going on for a long time now. The building of infrastructure and roads development is not sustainable and yet they continue on building more!
      When did you last visit DF?

  2. We are headed to Mexico in February next year for the first time. It looks like such a fascinating place. I had never heard of Mexico City’s sinking buildings – thanks.

    1. Hello Lyn, I think we are from the same travel group on Facebook 🙂 nice to see how it connects bloggers.

      I’m glad you’re visiting, it’s really worth it. There are many spots I haven’t managed to cover yet but I will next time. I’m very much into off the beaten path travel and I discovered many unusual attractions in Mexico City. I’ll pass them on to you if you’re interested in a special trip adventure.

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