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.
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.