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This imposing building is at once interesting, contradictory, and revealing of the cultural history of Mexico in the 20th century. At the birth of the century, Mexico is preparing to celebrate 100 years of independence. Porfirio Diaz, who had been in power for 30 years, had the Italian architect Adamo Boari construct the Palace of Fine Arts. Boari began the original and modern project using elements of Art Nouveau and Art Deco, when in midstream, the Mexican Revolution explodes.
Twenty five years later, the building is finally inaugurated and becomes the center of cultural life in the country. It is essential to see in its interior the work of the greatest Mexican muralist and painters and the elegance and beautiful Art Deco, including the impressive curtain that hangs in the theater, contracted out to Tiffany’s of New York.
The Palace of Fine Arts is one of the most spectacular buildings in the heart of Mexico City. Its dimensions are spectacular as well as its details, including lavish decorations. Situated at one end of the Alameda garden, and offers visitors endless architectural, artistic and historical facets, inside and out.
The building designed by Adamo Boari in 1903, with many collaborators, artists and architects participating was finally inaugurated in November 1934, after a difficult period in modern Mexico’s history.
Based on solid metal structures, with marble masonry, and adorned with structures and columns, as well as stained glass windows and crystal chandeliers, it offers visitors many points of interest. Art nouveau and art deco influence its style, combined with luxurious materials and modernist decorative lines, the building presents formal architectural solutions effectively.
Located on a surface area of 45 thousand square meters, the Palace has a large reception hall and two working staircases towards the back, a theater with three levels and room for 1, 700 people. There is also a monumental curtain that hangs in the theater, made of metal and crystal. The building also includes a library and a restaurant. Finally, the Manuel M. Ponce conference room, the Diego Rivera Hall and National Hall (both for temporary exhibits), and murals on the second and third floors by Mexican muralist Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco, David Alfaro Siqueiros and Rufino Tamayo, are all a part of the Palace. The tympanum in the central part is a distinctive feature of this building.
The Palace of Fine Arts of Mexico has been the home of many national and international exhibits for painting, sculpture and photography, presented by some of the most important artists in the world.
From its inauguration, it became the heart of Mexico’s national museum system, and today it attracts many visitors from around the country and the world, thanks to the intense cultural and artistic activities it houses.
Visit Bellas Artes on Av. Juárez, Centro Histórico, Ciudad de México. Telephone: +52 55 5512 2593. Hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 10 to 6.