The Palacio de Bellas Artes next to the Alameda Central, a little park with lots of poplars, is the beautiful opera and concert hall of Mexico City. Its main design from 1904 is from the Italian architect Adamo Boari. However, the building was completed in 1934 by Federico Mariscal.
It is for sure an outstanding piece of Art Nouveau with a beautiful interior in Art déco. The building is made of heavy Carrara marble. Its dome is tiled with yellow and orange glazed bricks. Like almost every building or monument in the city, also the Palacio de Bellas Artes has to battle sinking into the swampy soil. It did already sink several metres over the years!
The stage inside is popular for its colourful glass curtain made by Tiffany in New York. The glass illustration shows the Valley of Mexico and the volcanos Propocatépetl and Iztaccíhuatl.
The Palacio de Bellas Artes is also known for its mural paintings from some of the greatest Mexican artists of the 20th century. Really worth a visit!
Fun & Interesting
There is a funny story about one of the mural painting inside the Palacio de Bellas Artes. It is about the work “El Hombre, Contralor del Universo (Man at the Crossroads)“ from Diego Riveras in 1934.
This work was originally commissioned by the Rockefeller Center in New York. However, the Rockefeller family destroyed the original work because of its anti-capitalist illustrations.
Riveras painted a new version of it in the Palacio de Bellas Artes - illustrating the capitalism accompanied by death and the socialism accompanied by wealth and peace. In this new version, Riveras displayed Rockefeller himself as a visitor to a decadent nightclub …
The Palacio de Bellas Artes with its white Carara marble and its colourful dome looks stunning from above. My advice is to go up to the observation deck of the Torre Latinoamericana. From there, you have a great bird’s eye view of the Palacio de Bellas Artes!