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The Garden of the Triple Alliance

Garden of the Triple Alliance
Photo: Thelma Datter on Wikimedia Commons

 

 

The Garden of the Triple Alliance is one of the big surprises on any walk down the Calle Tacuba. A garden and monument, it’s a commemoration of the Triple Alliance agreed to in the year 1427 by the rulers of Tenochtitlan, Texcoco and Tlacopan. But it’s an interesting story too.

A corner, two of it walls are provided by the former Bethlemite church, which is today the Museum of the Army and Air Force. That building, for many years, was the church of the Bethlemite Hospital and Monastery which is today the Interactive Museum of the Economy. (For more on the order, see the two museum entries.)

Filomeno Mata

Filomeno Mata street is named for the activist and publisher who took over the building after the Religious Reform Period in the 1850s. Mata founded multiple newspapers. Here though he ran the Diario del Hogar newspaper for some 30 years. It became one of the most important publications in the period leading up to the Mexican Revolution. Mata was imprisoned by the Porfirio Diaz government on multiple occasions, and died only at the beginning of the Revolution in 1911.

The Reliefs and the Pavillion

The bas-reliefs are the work of the acclaimed sculptor Jesús F. Contreras. He completed the works in 1888 to be parts the Mexico Pavilion the Paris Universal Exposition of 1889. The reliefs now face the Palacio de Mineria which houses the library named for one of the architects of the pavilion, the Biblioteca Ing. Antonio M. Anza, today the UNAM Architecture and Engineering library.

Contreras is most famous for his sculpture, Malgré Tout, in marble within the MUNAL collection. A copy in bronze is on the edge of the Alameda Central. His equestrian monument to Ignacio Zaragoza is in the city of Puebla. And some 20 of his bronze statues line the Paseo de la Reforma.

Controversial within the Universal Exposition, the pavilion was taken apart and the reliefs were later shipped back to Mexico. One more of them is inside the Army and Air Force musuem. That one depicts Cuauhtémoc. And replicas of all four were made for the Monument to La Raza, on Insurgents Avenue.

 

All photos above, except the pavilion,
are by Thelma Datter on Wikimedia Commons.
The Pavilion photo is from the collection of the Library of Congress,
also on Wikimedia Commons. 

Garden of the Triple Alliance

The leaning bronze plaque, pictured above reads:

“The military confederation created among the pre-Hispanic people of Tenochtitlan, Texcoco, and Tlacopan (Tacuba) allowed all of them since 1427 to achieve a notable development based on their interconnections, militarily, politically and economically.

Itzcóatl
Obsidian Serpent
Artist:
Jesús F. Contreras. 1866-1902
Provenance: Part of the collection of the National Artillery Museum. High relief in bronze 1888-1889, 360 x 225 centimeters.

Mexica ruler who from 1428 to 1440. He freed his people from the lordship of Azcapotzalco and began the phase of expansion and conquest of the Mexica people.

[Note, Itzcóatl is also depicted as one of the two leaders in the Indios Verdes monument, originally intended for the same Paris Universal Exhibition]

Nezahualcóyotl
Coyote fasting, or hungry coyote
Artist:
Jesús F. Contreras. 1866-1902
Provenance: Part of the collection of the National Artillery Museum. High relief in bronze 1888-1889, 360 x 225 centimeters.

Ruler of Texcoco from 1431 to 1472, he reorganized the laws and administration of his people, promoting a great economic and cultural flourishing. Also famous for his poems.

Totoquihuatzin
“Entrance of birds”
Artist:
Jesús F. Contreras. 1866-1902
Provenance: Part of the collection of the National Artillery Museum. High relief in bronze 1888-1889, 360 x 225 centimeters.

As lord of Tlacopan (Tacuba), together with Itzcóatl and Nezahualcóyotl, he planned and achieved the union of Tenochtitlan, Texcoco and Tacuba, “The Triple Alliance.” He was also the author of several poems.

Price: Free

Address:

Calle de Filomeno Mata, corner of Tacuba, Centro Histórico, Cuauhtémoc, 06000 CDMX