According to a legend, the gods advised the Aztecs the place where they could build their city was to be identified when they saw an eagle perched on a prickly pear tree eating a snake. Tenochtitlan, the current Mexico City, The emblem shows an eagle devouring a serpent, which actually is in conflict with Mesoamerican belief. The eagle is a symbol of the sun and a representation of the victorious god Huitzilopochtli , ( wee-tsee-loh-poch'-tlee ) in which form, according to legend, bowed to the arriving Aztecs. The snake is a symbol of the earth In some codices, the eagle holds the glyph for war to represent the victorious Huitzilopochtli. With the water element, the attributed element of the moon, it recalls the mythology and rebirth of Huitzilopochtli , the god and hero of the Aztecs. The fruit of the Nopal cactus, called Tuna , represents the heart of Copil , the nephew of the god Huitzilopochtli. The god ordered the people to &quot;build the city in the place of Copil's heart&quot; ( Ramírez Codex ), where the cactus grew on his land. It also alludes to the human sacrifice customs of the Aztecs. Throughout the history of the Mexican coat of arms, many meanings have been attributed to its elements, although the most prevalent interpretations are; That the Eagle represents the Mexican People, the combative stance meaning that they are ready to face the challenges that life and the world may bring upon them. That the Snake represents Mexico's enemies, although not identified, it would mean any foreign forces that may harm Mexicans. The snake being devoured by the eagle means that the Mexican people will prevail over their enemies. That the Nopal, with its thorny nature, represents Mexico's challenges and trouble; the eagle defiantly standing on them means that the Mexican people will overcome these challenges. That the Earth and Water symbols represent Mexico's indigenous origins, melded together through the colonization and racial mixing of Europeans and Native Americans. That the Laurel and Oak leaves encircling the Coat of Arms represent victory and the martyrdom of those who have given their lives for Mexico.
The cathedral has four facades which contain portals flanked with columns and statues. The two bell towers contain a total of 25 bells. The tabernacle, adjacent to the cathedral, contains the baptistery and serves to register the parishioners. There are two large, ornate altars, a sacristy , and a choir in the cathedral. Fourteen of the cathedral's sixteen chapels are open to the public. Each chapel is dedicated to a different saint or saints, and each was sponsored by a religious guild . The chapels contain ornate altars , altarpieces , retablos , paintings, furniture and sculptures. The cathedral is home to two of the largest 18th century organs in the Americas. There is a crypt underneath the cathedral that holds the remains of many former archbishops. After the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire , the conquistadors decided to build their church on the site of the Templo Mayor of the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan to consolidate Spanish power over the newly-conquered domain. Hernán Cortés and the other conquistadors used the stones from the destroyed temple of the Aztec god of war Huitzilopochtli , principle deity of the Aztecs, to build the church.   Cortés ordered the original church's construction In 1544, ecclesiastical authorities in Valladolid ordered the creation of new and more sumptuous cathedral.The cathedral was begun by being built around the existing church in 1573. When enough of the cathedral was built to house basic functions, the original church was demolished to enable construction to continue. 
Mexico a Land of Contrasts
Mexico – A Land of Contrasts <ul><li>Mexico – A Land of Contrasts </li></ul>