Mexico City (pop. 8,236,900), capital and largest city of Mexico. Located at an altitude of about 7,500 ft (2,300 m) and at the southern end of Mexico's central plateau, it is surrounded by the mountain ranges of Ixtacihuatl and Popocatepétl. The climate is cool and dry, but the city has often been damaged by local floods. Mexico City is on the site of the old Aztec capital of Tenochtitlán, founded in 1325. Cortes captured the city in 1521, and for the next 300 years it was the seat of the viceroyalty of New Spain; consequently it possesses some of the finest Spanish colonial architecture. The city was hit by a severe earthquake in 1985 and suffers greatly from air pollution.
See also: Mexico.