The City of Palaces

On a sunny warm Sunday afternoon we took a stroll around Alameda Central Park and stopped in at some palaces that were on the “must see” list.

Mexico City is called “The City of Palaces.”

The Palacio de Correos (translated as National Postal Building.)

Construction began on the Palacio de Correos in 1904. This stylish art-deco building is very elegant boasting marble floors, intricately carved stones, bronze window frames, an amazing double staircase, and a glass ceiling.

Have you seen Disney’s animated film Coco? In the film, the Land of the Living and the Land of the Dead are separated by the Grand Central Station, an elegant building which is clearly based on the Palacio de Correos de México in Mexico City.

Bronze elevators that are still operating!
The Palacio de las Bellas Artes is so beautiful! This photo was taken from the 10th floor of the Sears department store.
Sears was on Steve’s “must-see” list. We took the escalators all the way to the top floor where he looked at motorcycles and Craftsman tools. The magnificent view was a bonus!
The Cinco de Mayo pedestrian street connects the Palace of Fine Arts to the Zócalo and is lined with beautiful old “palaces.”
The Casa de los Azulejos is an 18th-century baroque palace whose facade has Talavera tile from Puebla. It now houses a Sanborns soda fountain/drugstore and restaurant. We don’t recommend eating at Sanborns.
An elegant staircase and ceiling.

A Sunday stroll through Alameda Central is the theme that Mexican painter Diego Rivera had in mind for a mural he painted in 1947 for one of the city’s most luxurious hotels, the Hotel del Prado.

Park Alameda Central is the backdrop of Riviera’s mural that tells a story of 500 years of history starting with the Spanish conquest. It reads from left to right, has over 100 named historical figures and measures over 50 feet in length.
This close up of the left side of shows U.S. General Winfield Scott facing Mexican General Santa Ana. During what we call the Mexican-American War (1846-1848) United States troops encamped in Park Alameda Central.
In this close up of the center of the mural Diego Rivera paints himself as a boy, holding the hand of a Catrina (skeleton.) His wife Frida Kahlo is behind him. Notice the fountain behind the Catrina.
Here is that same fountain in the same park today.
In this close up a police officer is forcing a peasant family from the park because it is “reserved for the upper classes.” Notice the the young man reaching for his knife. I’d like to point out the gazebo in the background where a police band is performing.
Here is that same gazebo in the Alameda Central park today.

For two long minutes on September 19, 1985 at 7:19am an earthquake shook Mexico City measuring 8.1 on the Richter scale with a second earthquake the next day.

The Hotel St. Regis was one of 400 buildings that came down. Over 1000 other buildings sustained such damage that they needed to be demolished including the Hotel del Prado where Diego Rivera’s famous mural suffered only a few cracks.

The mural which could have been lost to future generations was miraculously saved, and moved to a new location especially constructed for it on the site of the former

Hotel St. Regis parking lot. The Diego Rivera Mural Museum opened in 1988.

A short video of the length of the entire mural.

There’s so much to see in Mexico City. We’ve gotten braver and have taken the bus and even the subway to different sites. Meet You in la Mañana!

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