Capital District

Xochimilco [ sotʃimilko ] is one of the 16 boroughs of Mexico City, located about 25 km southeast of the city center and covers an area of 122 km ² and 404 458 inhabitants. Together with the historic center of the city is Xochimilco World Heritage Site by UNESCO and today primarily for its " floating gardens " known.

The story Xochimilcos goes back to the pre-Columbian period. Already in the early classic Mesoamerican berherbergten the banks and islands of various peoples of unknown origin. At the beginning of the Postclassic Xochimilco was an important Altepetl ( city-state ), which was subjected in the 15th century by the Aztecs. During the colonial period and the early days of independence, Xochimilco turned the granary of Mexico City.

In the area of Xochimilco live 14 indigenous peoples who preserve their traditional culture despite the progress of urbanization still in disrepair. In spite of all the northern part Xochimilcos is fully integrated into the urban area and has several commercial areas, which are of high economic significance for the city district. The mountainous region in the south and the central lakes area also form the largest protected area of the capital.

Name and Emblem

The name comes from the Nahuatl Xochimilco and is a composition of the words Xochi ( tl ) "flower", MIL ( li ) "field" and the Ortssuffix -co, and means therefore translates as " The place of the flower field ."

Xochimilco has not officially fixed emblem, but there are representations in use, which are derived from those preserved historic documents präkolumbianscher time, such as the Aztekencodices from central Mexico. In the " Tira de la Peregrinación " means the glyph Xochimilco a strain which set forth with the Aztecs from Aztlán. The glyph pre-Columbian style consists of a logogram for cultivated earth and it the appearance of a flower together.


Descriptive Geography

With its 122 km ² the area of Xochimilco accounts for 7.9 % of the area of Mexico City and extends to the extreme limits of 19 ° 19 ' to 19 ° 09 ' North and 99 ° 00 ' to 99 ° 09' West. Xochimilco is bordered to the north by the municipalities Coyoacán and Iztapalapa, on the east by Tláhuac, to the south by Milpa Alta and Tlalpan to the west. The administrative seat of the municipality is located in the district of " El Rosario " - a historic church Xochimilcos.

The northern part Xochimilcos forms a plane on the mean sea level in the valley of Mexico, 2,240 meters. There used to be the Xochimilco Lake, whose remains now form the canals of the floating gardens at this point. On the south of the lake basin rise the peaks of Xochitepec Tzompol, Tlacuallelli and Teuhtli which form the natural border between the districts of Xochimilco, Milpa Alta and Tláhuac. These surveys are also part of the mountain chain, which prevents the natural drainage from the Mexico Basin to the south. Among them Xochitepec offered a beautiful view of the city areas of Tlalpan and Xochimilco. On top of the volcano Axocopiaxco the area Xochimilcos reached a altitude of about 3000 meters.

Xochimilco is located in Subbecken Texcoco Lake Zumpango the hydrological Moctezuma - Panuco - Tula system. Originally endorheic basin was opened artificially in the 17th century. Thus, the lake decreased with time to its present size with the channels between the chinampas (small, man-made islands agricultural use ). The lake was then fed by tributaries which arose in the neighboring hills. These were channeled during the reign of Porfirio Díaz to supply Mexico City until its cessation in 1951. Since the channels are fed by recycled wastewater from the plant of the Cerro de la Estrella. Among the most important channels are the " Nacional ", the " de Chalco " - which drain the Sierra Nevada - the " Cuemanco " and the " Apatlaco ".


The entire area is part of the subprovince Xochimilcos 57 " Lagos y Volcanoes del Anáhuac " ( " Lakes and Volcanoes of Anahuac " ), which belongs to the geological province " Eje Neovolcánico " ( " neuvulkanische axis "). The surface is characterized by five topographic systems, with that of the stratovolcano is dominant and accounts for 42 % of the area Xochimilcos. This system corresponds to the arrangement of Xochitepec and Tzompol surveys, as well as the vast slope of Teuhtli volcano. A further 27 % of the territory are classified as volcanic plateau or Badlands. This fraction corresponds to the foothills of the volcano Tzompol and Tlacuallelli Mountain in central southern part of the Xochimilco territory. The rest of the territory is divided into three lowland types: 18% comprises the Lake District where once stood the Xochimilco Lake and which houses the current Chinamperie. A further 12 % of the total are classified as flood plain on the coast of the lake and marks the transition between mountain and valley. A salt meadow at the border Xochimilcos to Tláhuac and Iztapalapa is the remaining 1 % and includes something less than a square kilometer.

The floating gardens

The " floating gardens " are a popular destination for residents and tourists in the capital flows. They consist of a mesh of artificial canals with a total length of around 150 km and islands planted, covered with sea mud rafts ( chinampas ), whose root system now extends to the ground and thus reclaims his country.

Today, the gardens are used for recreation, tourism activities, but also re-used as arable land and thus according to its original mission. The use of the fertile mud made ​​it one of the most effective forms of cultivation that has ever been developed, enabling year-round harvests.

Famous is the place for its flower market and the colorful tour boats ( trajineras ), which can be rented together with local leaders.

Additional points of interest

In the Museo Dolores Olmedo ( district of La Noria ) is displayed in a permanent exhibition in addition to other works of art the largest private collection of works by the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo.

Since the mid- 90s, the doll island is accessible to tourists. In the trees of the island thousands of partly mutilated dolls have been suspended.