Mexico City Alameda Central was first set aside as public green space in 1592, when Viceroy Luis de Velasco had dozens of alamos, or poplar trees, planted above the city's premier destination. It was not until the late 1700s, however, that it was remodeled to its current glory.
The park was first fitted with five fabulous fountains, each echoing the extravagant tastes of Louis the XIV, the "Sun King" of France, which were then surrounded by suitably posh landscaping. Later, President Porfirio Díaz, well known for his architectural achievements, had the Palacio de Bellas Artes built above the park. Today, it is a popular spot, particularly on weekends, when families gather beneath the spreading trees.