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Oaxaca Zocalo

Oaxaca's Zocalo

© Suzanne Barbezat

The Zocalo is the main square of a Mexican town. The Mexico City Zocalo which is a huge (830 x 500 feet) paved surface with just a large flag in the center, is the most famous Zocalo. Other Zocalos may have trees and a bandstand in the center like the Oaxaca City Zocalo, or a fountain, like Puebla's Zocalo.

The word Zocalo comes from the Italian term zoccolo, which means plinth or pedestal. In the 1800s a pedestal was set up in the center of Mexico City's main square for a monument to commemorate Mexican independence. The statue was never put in place and people began to refer to the square itself as the Zocalo. Now in many towns in Mexico the main square is called the Zocalo.

Pronunciation: SO-kahl-oh
Also Known As: plaza, plaza principal
Alternate Spellings: Zócalo, Zocalo
Common Misspellings: zocolo, socalo
A band will perform in the Zocalo this evening.
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