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The theater also houses the Museum of Art (Museo de Artes Plásticas), notable for its collection of works by Mexican artists of the 19th and 20th centuries.
Another of Mexico City's important historic squares is the Square of the Three Cultures (Plaza de las Tres Culturas).
While Mexico City is big, both in terms of population and area, most of the city's best attractions are in the historic city center (Centro Histórico de la Ciudad), a 15-square-kilometer UNESCO World Heritage Site containing more than 1,400 important buildings from the 16th to 19th centuries.
The most important site is Templo Mayor, home to remains of the Great Temple of Tenochtitlán, including the first relic discovered in 1978, a finely sculpted round disc more than three meters in diameter and weighing eight-and-a-half tons.
Parque Alameda Central, a shady and beautifully kept park with many splendid fountains and sculptures, was laid out in 1592 on the site of a once busy Aztec market (it remains a bustling location to this day, especially at Christmas when it is beautifully illuminated and decorated).
Popular attractions here are the music and colorful costumes seen in performances of traditional Mexican dances at the Teatro de Bellas Artes, a huge hall famous for its spectacular glass-mosaic curtain made by Tiffany's of New York depicting the Valley of Mexico and its two mighty volcanoes.
Further excavations - including the summit platform of an earlier pyramid with well-preserved temple walls along with the skulls of sacrificial victims - indicate the temple site had been built over by the Aztecs and their predecessors 11 times.
A highlight of a visit is a walkway past the precinct of the aristocratic "winged warriors" where remains of residences decorated with multi-colored reliefs have been unearthed, along with evidence of the original paintwork.
In the early colonial period, the square served a variety of purposes, including as a bullfighting arena and market, while today, it's used for festivals, parades, and demonstrations.