When you are in Mexico City, you can never be far from history and culture, and photography too. I clicked few angular photos here. (More angular photos here) You also cannot miss an evening, strolling on the most famous boulevard of the city, Paseo de la Reforma. Filled with chic cafes, hotels, office buildings, art exhibitions and several tourist attractions, it is a touristy part of the city.
Close to the boulevard, at the Plaza de la República (Republican Square), you will find an iconic and beautiful monument. This is Monumento a la Revolución or Monument to the Revolution. 65 meters in height, this imposing structure, with a massive copper dome supported by four arches, celebrates the Mexican revolution of 1910. Four arches or ‘four groups of sculptures’ are dedicated to the Independence, the Reform, the Agrarian and Labor Laws. This is a must-visit monument in Mexico City. Heroes of the revolution are buried here below the four arches of the monument.
History of this landmark building dates back to 1910 when President Porfirio Díaz, or rather Dictator Díaz, invited architects and sculptors to build a new parliament building. It was to commemorate the 100 years of Mexican independence from Spanish rule. Hence, it was proposed that the structure has to be one of the grandeur and biggest of its kind. Unfortunately (or fortunately!), a wealthy and young Mexican named Francisco Madero challenged President Díaz in the presidential election and was thrown into jail by the President. This led to the revolt against the dictatorship of Díaz and the plan of the building could not materialize. In 1912, construction was suspended.
For next two decades, the steel structures lay abandoned at the site. Then in 1932, architect Carlos Obregon Santacilia and sculptor Oliverio Martinez gave a fresh lease of life to the building, though differently, as a monument to the revolution. Parliament building was never built at this site. But what was built finally is the present day architectural monument completed in 1938.
In 1970, monument was closed down and the elevator going up to the observatory deck was suspended. It was in 2010 in the centennial year of the revolution that the building was restored and opened for public once again. Today, when you stand at the observatory deck of this monument, remember this marvelous building stands testimony to the 100 years of history. If you want to know more about the Mexican history and revolution, visit Museo Nacional de la Revolución which is located at the basement level of the monument.
In 40 pesos (3 USD), we rode in a glass enclosed elevator up to the observatory deck (mirador). Take few steps up, and you reach the observatory deck. Spending little more, you can even go further and reach the summit of the tower, Paseo Linternilla. However, I will not recommend this to those on budget travels. Rather sip your coffee at the café, located at the observatory deck, and enjoy the 360 degree view of Mexico City, lay bare before you. Let me give you a tip here. If you are early to the monument, you get a Free guided tour of the place. This is in Spanish and is available on first-come-first-served basis up to 20 persons. Some bit of Spanish can save you few pesos. Any saving is good for budget travel, isn’t it?
Sunset is a better time to visit there when the monument is lit up. In the evening, you can also enjoy the illumination of lights at the fountain, which is located at the Plaza. Fountains spread its magic throughout the day, otherwise.
At any time of the day, there will be plenty of families, youngsters, bikers, and children having a gala time at the Plaza. You must definitely walk through the water fountains like the locals do. Have fun as the locals do. Plaza hosts many public concerts and events.
Best day of the week to visit it is on Sunday, when Paseo de la Reforma is closed for cars. On Sunday, you will find many bikers. You can walk on the street and enjoy the ambience around the monument. Since Paseo de la Reforma is one of the most happening places of the city, you may often find several protests and demonstrations in this part of the city. When we visited the monument, there were several tents at the rear side of the monument, which I presume were of protesters. But that should not detract you from visiting this place.
How to Reach: Take a Metro train and get down at metro station Revolución, which will cost you a mere 6 Pesos (half a dollar). Monument is just 2 blocks away from the metro station. Alternatively, hop-on-hop-off buses, called Turibus in Mexico City, also have a stop here.
Ticket Cost: Visit to monument is free. But a ride in the elevator to the observatory deck costs 40 Pesos. Add 10 Pesos and you can visit the museum also.
Hours of Operation: Mon- Thur: 12 – 8 PM; Fri & Sat: 12 – 10 PM; Sun: 10 PM – 8 PM
Have you visited Mexico City? Did you see this monument? How was your experience?
More blogs on Mexico