The simple but striking beauty of the Angel de la Independencia monument is immediately evident to passersby hurrying along on Avenida Reforma, but visitors may not be aware just how much history is encapsulated here–literally.
Built upon the orders of Porfirio Díaz to commemorate the 1910 centennial of the Mexican Revolution, the impressive gilt angel is covered in 24-karat gold and has survived a number of earthquakes. A golden chest with important documents related to independence and a coin collection are embedded in the foundation, an eternal flame burns in the base, and the remains of more than a dozen heroes of the Revolution are enshrined here.
If you're curious to see the view from the top, stop by and ask the guard on duty if the crown is open. Hours are irregular, but the lucky visitor who times it right will enjoy a spectacular scene unfurling before them like a fine ribbon on the city's most important avenue.