Open - Limited Services / Capacity
The Plaza la Aguilita is a very old public square in the Barrio La Merced. Also known as the Plaza Juan José Baz Plaza, it extends to the north and south along pedestrian-only Calle Talavera. The site is the legendary location of the 1325 sighting of an eagle by the ancient Mexica people. They knew to found ancient Tenochtitlan as a prophecy had told them to watch for an eagle eating a snake atop a cactus. The plaza has thus long been known as “La Aguilita,” meaning simply, the little eagle.
A 2009 remodeling restored the central fountain. It bears a famous column and a sculpture of the eagle with a snake. There are also ceramic tiles representing the forty-two national coats of arms in Talavera ceramics. The square likely dates from at least the 16th century. For many years, residents used it simply as a parking lot. Some believe that the fountain sculpture, or a variant thereof, has stood here since the 15th century.
Today residents and visitors gather in the Plaza la Aguilita from all over the Barrio Merced neighborhood. It’s essential to anyone exploring the sites in the lower east side of the Centro Histórico.