The Diego Rivera Murals at the National Palace in Mexico City

December 4, 2011

México City is a spectacular place.  I enjoyed a lot of cultural attractions while I was there this time, and a favorite for me were the murals of Diego Rivera in the National Palace. If you visit México City you’ll surely go to the Zócalo, the main square downtown.  On one side is the main cathedral, and on another is the Palacio Nacional. This huge building (pictured below) is more than 600 feet long and one of the large balconies is where the President calls out el grito every September 15.

palacio nacional mexico city
Photo: Wikipedia

As you face the building, you’ll walk all the way to the far left side and continue down that side street to find a roped off area with security.  You’ll pass through the airport-style security machines and have your purse inspected.  There are a lot of things that can’t go inside with you, you’ll need to rent a locker or toss the offending articles.  I was relieved of two pens. Walk all the way back around the front and go through the main entrance.  When you emerge into the courtyard you can see the murals on the second floor right away.  Turn left and you’ll see the main section of the mural at the head of the stairs.

The mural at this stairwell depicts the history of México from 1521 to 1930.  Other sections depict the reign of the Aztecs and the flourishing city that stood where Mexico City is today as well as the Spanish Conquest.  I am not a scholar of the murals, but Rivera devoted a lot of his energy and time to creating them and to me they represent all of the beauty and history of México. It is a complicated history and Rivera’s passion and love for his homeland shines through with every image. If you’d like to know more about this fascinating man, I thoroughly enjoyed and recommend reading  The Fabulous Life of Diego Rivera

I took a number of photos of the individual mural sections, and the photo album is below. Below that is a video of the murals that hopefully gives you the feeling that you were right there with me.  I bet after looking at these pictures, you’ll wish that you had been.

Diego Rivera murals in Mexico City

The murals are in the National Palace in Mexico City.

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More about Nancy

I'm Nancy, a US expat living in San Antonio Tlayacapan, Jalisco after 11 years in Mazatlán, México.

    1. Gorgeous photos, Nancy! For those closer to New York, the Museum of Modern Art has on display until 14 May 2012 Rivera’s murals that he made for his 1931 exhibit there. It’s the first time in 80 years. It’s also worth a trip to Cuernavaca to the Palacio de Cortes to see his murals of the history of conquest and revolution. Que rica cultura!

      1. Thanks so much Berly! Not sure if we’ll get to NYC before May of 2012 but I’ll mention this to our daughter Jessica, but she is probably all over it already. Cuernavaca, though… we are thinking of spending a month there next summer so we’ll visit the Palacio for sure. Thank you!

    1. Unbelievable murals! BTW-do you film your video with your Sony? And do you have to convert the file before uploading? The videos from my Sony that I try to upload are not recognized by any server. DIL says she has a converter she will e-mail me so I can upload.

    1. Those are some great photos. They must have increased the security a bit. They used to demand a looky see at a passport or ID card. Then it got slacker and I was just getting waved through. But I guess with the times being what they are, security is bound to get a bit tighter.

      1. Marty, Thanks! Yes, I use the Sony for video. Its videos are MP4, and I can upload them directly to YouTube or Facebook. Where are you wanting to upload to? The problem with problems like this are there are sooooo many details, I’m sure your DIL will get to the bottom of it. If not, try the Sony website maybe. Usually they have a forum where you can post a question. Good luck!

        Gary, Thanks. It did seem like pretty tight security, but it wouldn’t take a bad’un long to make a mess with a sharpie so I’m glad they are doing it. It was a long trek to just get in there though, my feet were hurting like heck at the end of a day walking around in (gasp) SHOES!

    1. Nancy,if you haven’t already done it,I think you should set aside a couple of hours in NYC to walk the High Line linear park…a Sunday afternoon around sunset, weather permitting, is sublime. BTW, I am FINALLY coming back to Maz for a 1-2mo. stay to evaluate a long-term relocation.

      1. Les, I would love to visit NYC, especially since daughter Jess lives there! But nothing is planned yet. Glad you’re coming back to Maz, that’s great!

    1. The Diego Rivera panels are spectacular, you really have to see them in person. Photos don’t do them justice plus there are so many many details. Sore feet, been there!

    1. Wow, I want to see those murals. They look spectacular. Mexico City is on our wish list to visit. Great pictures.

    1. Last year wen I was visiting family in Detroit, I went to the Detroit Institute of Art to see the overwhelmingly murals of workers that Diego Rivera did for Edsel Ford. The images were so powerful you can almost see the men sweating with effort. Apparently the Marxist Rivera was so impressed by the workers of Detroit that his inspiration for these (20 plus) panels did, in his opinion allow him to produce his best work. He considered the Industrial Murals to be the best work he had ever done.

      1. Ingrid, They are fantastic… plus there are tons of other wonderful murals around town. I hope you get to visit DF soon!

        Beryl, I’ve never been to Detroit but I would love to see those murals.

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