Part of Guatemala City ’s newer sector, Zona 9 adjoins Zona 4 and is crossed by 5a and 7a Avenidas.
Along 7a Avenida, on 2a Calle, is an Eiffel Tower–like monument commemorating the rule of Guatemala’s liberal reformer Justo Rufino Barrios (1871–1885), known as Torre del Reformador. Wonderfully illuminated at night with a large spinning spotlight at top, the steel tower serves as a nice backdrop for an annual December fireworks show. A bell at top is rung every year on June 30 in remembrance of the Liberal victory in the revolution of 1871.
It was a project of the Ubico administration and was not a donation from France, as is commonly thought. The bell tower, however, was a gift from Belgium. Nearby, at the corner of 5a Calle and Avenida La Reforma  is Plaza Estado de Israel, honoring the creation of the Jewish state with a giant Star of David sculpture.
Also along Avenida La Reforma, between 2a Calle and Calle Mariscal Cruz, is the Jardín Botánico y Museo de Historia Natural (Botanical Gardens and Natural History Museum, 8 a.m.–3 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 9 a.m.–noon Sat., $1.50), managed by the San Carlos University. It’s really only recommendable for the botanical gardens, which offer a nice respite from the chaotic traffic just beyond its walls. The plant species are all labeled in Spanish and Latin. Give the natural history museum a skip unless you’re really into bad taxidermy.
At 7a Avenida and 12 Calle is the Plazuela España, a circular miniplaza circumvented by traffic and featuring a pretty fountain built in honor of Spain’s King Carlos III in 1789. It originally was in the city’s central park, where it had a large equestrian statue that disappeared shortly after independence from Spain. Its current location was a move by the Ubico administration. Some very attractive tile benches are on the sidewalks opposite the fountain.