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Xochimilco travel guide

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The small village is located well south of Mexico City

A labyrinth of lakes and canals Xochimilco (in Náhuatl: place of the flower fields) is a popular destination for outings and excursions by boat. The small village is located well south of Mexico City, outside the beltway Anillo Periférico (about 20km/12.4mi south-east of the main city square). Some of the villagers are Nahua Indians. Probably, Toltec who had fled from Tula first settled in Xochimilco around the end of the 12th century. In the 13th century, a nomadic tribe related to the Aztec settled here; this tribe belonged to the Náhuatl language group. These settlers later became famous for their Chinampa system and were therefore named the Chinampanec. The Chinampa system refers to an agricultural method in which small, floating patches of mud and aquatic plants were held together with wickerwork and used for planting.
With time, these floating garden patches took root on the bottom of the lake. The abundance of water and the addition of fertile mud allowed up to seven harvests per year. The same system was also used elsewhere in the lake region, and the rich harvests secured the food supply for Tenochtitlán. Around 1430, the Aztec subjugated the settlers in Xochimilco. Heavy fighting took place here in 1521 during the Spanish conquest. Finally, the city was burned down.

Xochimilco travel guide by Marco Polo 2011 country guide

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