August 25, 2013

0804 MEXICO (Federal District) - Historic Centre of Mexico City and Xochimilco (UNESCO WHS)

0804 Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City

Built in the 16th century on the ruins of Tenochtitlan, the old Aztec capital, as the capital of New Spain, Mexico City, with its chequerboard layout, the regular spacing of its plazas and streets, and the splendour of its religious architecture is a prime example of Spanish settlements in the New World. From the 14th to the 19th century, the city exerted a decisive influence on the development of architecture, the monumental arts and the use of space, first in the Aztec Kingdom and later in New Spain.

The monumental complex of the Templo Mayor bears exceptional witness to the cults of an extinct civilization, whereas the lacustrine landscape of Xochimilco constitutes the only reminder of traditional ground occupation in the lagoons of the Mexico City basin before the Spanish conquest. Mexico City has five Aztec temples, a cathedral (the largest on the continent) and some fine 19th and 20th century public buildings such as the Palacio de las Bellas Artes.

The historic center of Mexico City is focused on the Zócalo or main plaza (the second largest in the world after Moscow's Red Square) and extends in all directions for a number of blocks. The Palacio de Bellas Artes (Palace of Fine Arts) is located on the west side of the historic center, next to the Alameda Central park, and is the most important cultural center in Mexico. The first National Theater of Mexico was built in the late 19th century, but it was soon decided to tear this down in favor of a more opulent building.

The initial design and construction was undertaken by Italian architect Adamo Boari in 1904, but the construction was stopped in 1913. Construction began again in 1932 under Mexican architect Federico Mariscal and was completed in 1934. The exterior of the building is primarily Neoclassical and Art Nouveau and the interior is primarily Art Deco. The building is best known for its murals by Diego Rivera, Siqueiros and others, as well as the many exhibitions and theatrical performances its hosts, including the Ballet Folklorico de Mexico.

About the stamp
The stamp, depicting guaje de plata - México / Distrito Federal (13.50 MXN), is part of the series México creación popular (Folk Art Mexico), about which I wrote here.

Historic Centre of Mexico City and Xochimilco - UNESCO official website
Palacio de Bellas Artes - Wikipedia

Sender: Maggie Alonso (direct swap)
Sent from Ecatepec (Mexico / Mexico), on 24.07.2013
Photo: A& P Giberstein

No comments:

Post a Comment