Enjoy 20th-century history in these two sections of Mexico City, with interesting art and architecture reflecting European influences.
See art nouveau and art deco architecture in Roma and La Condesa. While many of the sites in Mexico City’s historical center date back to the time soon after the Spanish conquest of the Aztecs in the 1500s, these two neighborhoods are a celebration of art and architecture of the late 1800s and early 1900s.
Roma has an art nouveau flair, with buildings designed during the late 1800s in the era of President Porfirio Díaz. Roma took its name from an existing establishment, the Romita Hacienda. Visit this small chapel and its plaza that still exist today.
As Mexico City grew in size and population, wealthier residents left the city center to establish colonias, effectively suburbs around the historic center. In Roma, look for the long, beautiful, tree-lined avenues, such as the Alvaro Obregon and Orizaba Street, which they created. See the Temple of of the Sacred Family with its beautiful stained-glass windows.
Roma residents built French-style mansions, such as the Lamm House, now a cultural center, and the Rio de Janeiro building. Stroll along the neighborhood streets to notice these and other cultural heritage buildings. Look for the bronze replica of David by Michelangelo in Rio de Janeiro Plaza.
The “roaring ‘20s” hit Mexico City with the development of the colonia farther west around the Condesa de Miravalle Racetrack. Upper- and middle-class local residents and international visitors gathered in this area for its open parks and tree-lined avenues and developing urban atmosphere created by wealth and diversity. Visit today to appreciate the same cosmopolitan character. Notice the art deco and contemporary architecture in the area, including rotaries decorated with ornate fountains. In particular, look for Popocatépetl roundabout and Iztaccíhuatl Plaza.
At the center of La Condesa is Parque Mexico, with numerous fountains and ponds providing a fresh, welcoming area within the city. Attend a concert at the open-air art deco theater in the park. Wander through the streets of La Condesa to observe the bohemian lifestyle of local artists and students.
Visit Roma and La Condesa for a pleasant artistic departure from the older historic sections of Mexico City.