Secret places in Mexico City that you should know
Part 2: The Alameda Central, know its fascinating history

 Here we tell you about the history of this emblematic park in the Historic Center of Mexico City.

Thousands of stories pass through Mexico City, making it change with the passing of the years and the millions of souls that inhabit it. Surrounded by the fast-paced life of the Historic Center, a witness to history has remained present and constantly evolving: the Alameda Central.

 

Viceroy Luis de Velasco in 1592, during the Colonial era, ordered the creation of "a promenade to give beauty to the city and to be a place of recreation for its inhabitants".

 

The name Alameda was given because of the large number of poplars that were planted on the border of the current Hidalgo and Juárez avenues, which were later replaced by willows and ash trees. After a period of decadence and neglect. Felipe V requested the construction of several fountains and the planting of new trees.

"Viceroy Luis de Velasco in 1592, during the Colonial era, ordered the creation of a promenade to give beauty to the city and to be a place of recreation for its inhabitants".
The Alameda in ancient times
The Alameda in ancient times

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The Central Alameda in the XVIIIth CenturyAlameda Central en el Siglo XVIIIl-6-768x420 (1)
The Central Alameda in the XVIIIth CenturyAlameda Central en el Siglo XVIIIl-6-768x420 (1)

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The Alameda Central today
The Alameda Central today

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The Alameda in ancient times
The Alameda in ancient times

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Throughout the 17th century, two floods, plagues and epidemics in different years destroyed the park. It was rebuilt and remodeled, but the original layout of the place was lost: the gardens were changed into eight walkways with an equal number of lawns, a central fountain and the lost poplars were replaced by ash trees.

 

During the mandate of Agustín de Iturbide in 1823, the space of the Alameda was again renovated: pillars, gazebos and statues were reformed; a new central fountain with the statue of a woman who would represent Liberty was reforested and built; 

 

During the Second Empire, the Alameda was one of the favorite places of Empress Carlota, wife of the Mexican Emperor Maximilian of Habsburg.

The empress had a large number of roses planted and donated the fountain of "Venus led by zephyrs" by sculptor Mathurin Moreau.

 

The site became the preferred recreational area of high society, making it the first park in Latin America, and the fence that surrounded it helped to keep out the poor.

"The site became the preferred recreational area of high society, making it the first park in Latin America, and the fence that surrounded it helped to keep out the poor."

Benito Juárez was the president in charge of providing the Alameda with illumination in 1868, and he also ordered the demolition of the walls that protected it.

In 1910 President Porfirio Diaz was in charge of enlarging the Alameda, building wider streets, enhancing the view with the construction of the National Theater, which would eventually become the Palace of Fine Arts, and replacing the Moorish pavilion with the Hemicycle to Juarez on the occasion of the celebrations of the Centennial of the Independence of Mexico. 

 

The painter and muralist Diego Rivera immortalized the Alameda in his Sueño de una tarde dominical en la Alameda central, as a criticism of the malinchismo that reigned in Mexico at the time.

"In 1910 President Porfirio Diaz was in charge of enlarging the Alameda, building wider streets, enhancing the view with the construction of the National Theater and the Hemicycle to Juarez".
The former National Theater, today the Palace of Fine ArtsEl ex Teatro Nacional hoy Palacio de Bella
The former National Theater, today the Palace of Fine ArtsEl ex Teatro Nacional hoy Palacio de Bella

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The Hemicycle to Benito Juarez
The Hemicycle to Benito Juarez

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Beetovhen Monument
Beetovhen Monument

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The former National Theater, today the Palace of Fine ArtsEl ex Teatro Nacional hoy Palacio de Bella
The former National Theater, today the Palace of Fine ArtsEl ex Teatro Nacional hoy Palacio de Bella

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"Currently the Alameda has fantastic marble floors with reforested gardens and planters. At night it boasts new lighting in the corridors and fountains".

In 2012 it was reopened and currently the Alameda has fantastic marble floors with reforested gardens and planters. At night it boasts new lighting in the corridors and fountains.

There are eight sculptures and fountains emblematic of the Alameda known as: Las Americas, the Danaids, Neptune, the Nymphs 1 and 2, Mercury, Spring and Venus, corresponding to the second half of the 19th century.

 

In addition, four new fountains were placed in each corner of the Alameda with colored LED lighting and water jets up to 20 meters high. To the east is the monument to Beethoven, a work that was a gift from the German colony in 1921 on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Ninth Symphony.

The Hemicycle to Juarez, recovered the original whiteness as well as the gold and bronze ornaments, looking almost the same as 100 years ago when President Porfirio Diaz opened it.

 

The Alameda is the oldest recreational park on the continent, an open-air museum and a historical monument protected by INAH.
We invite you to visit it in person!

The Alameda Central today
The Alameda Central today

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The Alameda Central today
The Alameda Central today

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The Alameda Central today
The Alameda Central today

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The Alameda Central today
The Alameda Central today

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Secret places in Mexico City that you should know will continue...

Published by DMS Mexico All rights reserved 2022

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