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The Glorieta de Cuitláhuac holds the distinction in Mexico City, not just of being the tenth glorieta, but of being simultaneously the most Mexican, and perhaps the most forgotten of Reforma’s Ten Glorietas.
Not many will challenge the place Cuitláhuac continues to hold on the Mexican imagination. The penultimate emperor, he was the brother of Moctezuma II, and the Victor of the Victorious Night, today increasingly referred to as the “Night of Victory.” Here then, one can witness all of the contradiction of the modern city, standing proud, yet shaded in misunderstanding if not contempt. At least Cuitláhuac is spared the indignity bestowed on the Indios Verdes his figure here surely recalls.
That the Paseo de la Reforma hereafter gives way to the twin Catholic calzadas, Misterios and Guadalupe, seems only to redouble every contemporary Chilango‘s struggle with identity.
The monument’s pyramid base was the work of the architect, Jesús Aguirre. The defiant bronze sculpture above is by Ignacio Asúnsolo. He’s best known for the Monument to Álvaro Obregón in the Parque de la Bombilla. Although his tribute to the Proletariot Family may be one of his more understated and approachable works. This monument was dedicated at the beginning of the extension of Reforma southwestward. The project was only completed in 1976.
The Glorieta de Cuitláhuac seems to be mostly witnessed as people make their ways inward to the Sunday Antique Market in La Lagunilla. La Lagunilla’s regular trade in street micheladas and similar fare will draw some non-Sunday visitors too. As the photo betrays, the monument also marks the eastern edge of the enormous Nonoalco-Tlatelolco neighborhood. Don’t miss the striking Jardín de Santiago, perhaps Mario Pani’s least Mario Pani-esque work. It’s on the glorieta’s northwest edge.