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Architecture of the Porfiriato

It will surprise some that the Palacio de Bellas Artes is not the pre-eminent example of Porfiriato-era architecture. In fact, the building was finished long after the end of the Mexican Revolution. Art nouveau on the outside, and art deco on the inside, it's difficult to classify just what period it belongs to.

The Porfiriato is a long, 30+ year, period. It's generally said to begin in 1876 with the ascension of Porfirio Díaz to the presidency. He held on until 1911, with just one break in his hold on power.

The highlight of the period was, perhaps, in Paris, in 1892. The Mexican pavilion at the Paris Universal Exhibition was a strong example of the Neo-Indigenist style that we can surely understand today.

The French style favored by Díaz, is still far more evident in the City. The indigenist style saw strong, pointed anti-colonial support, too. That lays bare the sentiment of intellectuals and a public more than 120 years ago. It could seem like an argument from today.

When we look at Mercado Rivas' design for the Angel of Independence monument, he relies on the Italian-French sculptor, Enrique Alciati. Although some marbles were carved in Mexico, all of the bronze was poured in Florence.

The listings included here will help you to discover more Architecture of the Porfiriato and this formative 30-year period in Mexico City's history.

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