Today the Palace of the Marques de Selva Nevada is most famous for two bars on the street-level: La Faena with its bullfighting paraphernalia, and the lavish Bar Mancera. On calle Venustiano Carranza, both places are worth a visit simply to say you’ve been in a palace as illustrious as this.
The land is said to have belonged to Antonio de la Cadena, the Marquis de la Selva Nevada, as early as 1535. His descendents, and those who inherited the title, occupied the property through 1753 when the structure we see today was completed.
Most histories of the property will dwell on Carlos III’s granting of the title in 1777. It went to both Don Manuel Rodríguez de Pinillos y López Monteros and his wife Antonia Gómez Rodríguez de Pedroso. This is said to have been the only known case of granting a noble title to both husband and wife. One of their descendents later commissioned Manuel Tolsá to build the resplendent Palace of Buenavista for her son. (She’d already purchased the title of Count of Buenavista for him.)
Curiously, the same Marquises also maintained a stunning country home in San Ángel. That one is maintained by the National Institute of Anthropology and History.
Though little is know of the palace interior, the Marquise is known to have had exceptional Baroque taste. This did not change even despite the relationship with (Neoclassical) Tolsá. Alas, by the late 19th century, the long line of Marquises had fled independent Mexico, or been forgotten. The entire interior was modified and upper floors were added and adapted for use as the Hotel Mancera. This name can still be read at the top of the facade. Named for the politician, Gabriel Mancera (1839-1925), he acquired the property from the third and last Marquesa de Selva Nevada.
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Phone: 5521 9755
Price: Free admission
Calle de Venustiano Carranza 49, Centro Histórico, Cuauhtémoc, 06000 CDMX