Mexico City Historic Center
Downtown Mexico City is an eclectic place. One can find extraordinary buildings in every corner that spellbind everyone who passes by. Today DINKtravelers wants to invite you to approach with a different look the Palacio de Bellas Artes (Palace of Fine Arts), one of the most emblematic works of architecture in the city.
This building, apart from possessing a monumental beauty, has a long architectural history. In order to discover every little detail about it, we’d like you to visit it, and when you do, stand right in the middle of the square outside the building. Once there, observe this pachyderm built in carrara marble and try to watch closely every inch of its imposing façade. After that, enter inside this wonderful facility and find everything it hides. We promise that its history is detail matter.
Adamo Boari, architect of the Palace of Fine Arts
The construction of the Palace began in 1904 under the direction of the Italian architect Adamo Boari, the man who first called this building the white elephant of Mexico City. Its iron structure and the innovations that were implemented in its foundations made it a unique work for its time.
Standing before the building, stretch your arm in front of you, with your hand drawing an imaginary vertical line on the façade. Notice its symmetric perfection. This characteristic is due to the fact that the structure was built following the postulates of art noveau, which expected decorations to be a form of art adapted to the needs of modern life. The presence of classical elements is also evident in the building, including the sculptures in the tympanum or the muses elaborated in stone that guard the main entrance. As you approach the access doors, observe the dog’s head sculpted in stone on the higher left corner of the entrance. It is an amusing decoration that represents architect Boari’s pet.
Federico E. Mariscal, Mexican architect
In 1910, when the Mexican Revolution began, the construction of the building was interrupted until 1932. However, by that time, they hired the Mexican architect, Federico E. Mariscal, to continue the work. From that moment, the project had the new purpose of adding to the Palace elements that were characteristic of the native tradition. Are you curious about what we refer to? Keep reading!
The Palace of Fine Arts' details
If you walk around the building and pay close attention to the details, you will notice that in every arch there are figures of serpents that represent the ancient cult to the god Quetzalcótal, the Mexican deity of wisdom. You will also find representations of monkeys and jaguars that remind us of the country’s fauna. On second thought, analyzed from a short distance, this elephant is carrying a whole zoo on its back!
The safari goes on once you enter the building. Once inside, if you go to the second floor, you’ll be able to enjoy the works of Mexican muralists in the permanent exhibit. There, if you are a good observer, you’ll notice that there are animals in all the paintings and, together, they add up more than 80 different representations. Without a doubt, the magic of the Palace of Fine Arts resides in its details. Visit it and enjoy it while you travel with your imagination.
The murals inside the Palace of Fine Arts
The murals of the Palace of Fine Arts are a series of pictorial works that were gradually painted on the Palace walls until the central gallery of the white elephant was constituted as a symbolic space where the greatness of the Mexican muralism is shown through the works of Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros, Rufino Tamayo, Jorge González Camarena, Roberto Montenegro and Manuel Rodríguez Lozano.
Inside The Palace of Fine Arts
Inside the building you will not only find this zoo on the walls, there are also three halls where they hold various artistic activities as well as performances by the National Symphony Orchestra, the National Dance Company, The National Opera Company and the National Theater Company.
The main hall, the Manuel M. Ponce hall and the Adamo Boari hall are the two largest of these halls and those where you can observe the beauty and art that keeps this building
The Corner of Time Inside the Palace of Fine Arts
The Palace of Fine Arts houses a small exhibit inside the Corner of Time hall. There they show part of the historical heritage of the facility, offering you the chance to learn about the Palace’s history. Don't forget visit this hall to find photographic material; documentaries, recordings and more!
Palace of Fine Arts Opening Hours
This architectural and cultural jewel opens from Monday to Sunday from 10:00 to 16:00 hrs. Admission is free. Temporary exhibits are open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 17:00 hours. Their cost varies depending on the exhibit but on Sundays you can visit them for free. The museum offers parking facilities and information services, and it houses a restaurant, a bookstore and a souvenir shop.
Give yourself the opportunity to observe the Palace of Fine Arts from another perspective: from the Latinoamericana Tower, a unique and emblematic building you’ll find crossing the street from the palace. DINKtravelers hopes you can enjoy every detail of this safari of images that you’ll find inside and out of this majestic marble pachyderm.