Gran Plaza

sights / Squares & plazas

Gran Plaza information

Location
Monterrey , Mexico
Getting there
Metro: Zaragoza
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A monument to Monterrey’s ambition, this city-block-wide series of interconnected squares, also known as the Macroplaza , was created in the 1980s by the demolition of a prime chunk of city-center real estate. A controversial, but ultimately successful, piece of redevelopment, its charm has increased over the years as once-naked urban space has been softened by parks, trees, fountains and pools.

Said to form the largest public square in the world, it's an intriguing combination of concrete and the neoclassical.

Vistas of the surrounding mountains open up between the roster of iconic edifices – classically-designed municipal buildings and cutting edge modern structures housing some of Mexico's finest museums – that line the Gran Plaza. For visitors, it's a delight to explore on foot, as most traffic is directed away from the heart of the area by underpasses.

At the southern end of the Gran Plaza, the 70m concrete tower Faro del Comercio ('Lighthouse of Commerce') soars above the city, its green lasers piercing the night sky. The Faro abuts the Baroque form of the Catedral Metropolitano de Monterrey , capped by a neon cross. North of here is a shady park, Plaza Zaragoza , that's popular with snacking families, smooching lovers and also the venue for open-air concerts and old-school Latin dancing every Sunday.

Continuing north, the rest of the Gran Plaza is lined with a succession of concrete municipal structures. If you're a fan of Brutalism, you'll love the Teatro de la Ciudad and its architectural cousin, the lofty Congreso del Estado . Then down some steps is the Explanada de los Héroes (Esplanade of the Heroes) lined with statues, and finally the 1908 neoclassical Palacio de Gobierno .