Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Paseo de la Reforma
This wide avenue runs in a straight line, cutting diagonally across the city. It was built on the orders of Emperor Maximilian in the 1860s and was originally called "The Emperor's Avenue". It runs from Chapultepec Park, passes alongside the Torre Mayor (currently Latin America's tallest building), and continues through the swank Zona Rosa to the downtown area in the vicinity of the Alameda Central park. More modern extensions called "New Reforma" continue the avenue at an angle to the old Paseo.
Many monuments to people and events in Mexico's history and the history of the Americas are situated on and along Reforma. People so honored include the Niños Héroes – the Heroic Cadets of the Battle of Chapultepec – with a particularly grand monument, Cuauhtémoc, Simón Bolívar, and Christopher Columbus. There is also a monument to the nationalization of Mexico's oil reserves and industry in 1938, and a statue-cum-fountain featuring the Roman goddess Diana.
One the most famous monuments of the Paseo is a tall pillar surmounted with a gilded statue of an angel, built to commemorate the centennial of Mexico's independence in 1910. The base contains the tombs of several key figures in Mexico's war of independence.
Near the central section of Reforma, across from the Alameda, is the Monument to the Revolution. This is an enormous dome supported by four arches. It was originally planned, by Mexican dictator Porfirio Díaz, to be a part of a new parliament building. After Díaz's overthrow it became a monument to the revolution that deposed him. The remains of Francisco I. Madero and several other heroes of the Mexican Revolution are interred here.
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