North-west of Bellas Artes, Mexico City
Viceregal Picture Gallery
At the west end of the Alameda the Pinacoteca Virreinal (Viceregal Picture Gallery) is housed in the old conventual church of San Diego, built between 1594 and 1621. The pictures displayed in the church, the chapels and the cloister are by leading artists of the colonial period (16th-19th c.), including Simón Pereyns, Baltazar de Echave Orio, Cristóbal de Villalpando, Juan Rodríguez Juárez, José María de Ibarra, Miguel Cabrera and José María Tresguerras.
Museo Franz Mayer (Meyer)
Situated close to the church of San Juan de Dios, at Avenida Hidalgo 45, since 1986, the Museo Franz Mayer exhibits both European and Mexican applied art, and is the only museum in Mexico to do so.
La Santa Veracruz
On the far side of Avenida Hidalgo, which bounds Alameda Park on the north, lies the little Plaza Morelos (Plaza 2 de Abril or Plazuela de San Juan de Dios), in which stand two churches. The church of La Santa Veracruz, on the east side of the square, occupies the site of an earlier mid 16th c. church; the present building with its beautiful Churrigueresque main door was consecrated in 1764. The once richly decorated interior has suffered from the attentions of robbers, but still proudly displays a fine crucifix on the high altar which was presented to the church by Charles V. The famous architect and sculptor Manuel Tolsá is buried in the atrium.
Museo San Carlos
Two blocks west of the Plaza San Fernando, at the corner of Calle Puente Alvarado (#50, on the left), stands the Neo-Classical Palacio de Buenavista, an early 19th C building by Manuel Tolsá. In 1865 the Emperor Maximilian presented the palace to Marshal Bazaine, commander of the French troops in Mexico. Today it houses the Museo San Carlos, named after King Carlos III of Spain, who unveiled the first paintings. On display is a fine collection of works by Mexican and European artists which formerly hung in the Academia San Carlos, including some by Titian, Tintoretto, Goya and El Greco.
Address: Puente de Alvarado 50, Mexico
Opening hours: 10am-5pm; Closed: Mon
Always closed on: New Year's Day (Jan 1), Mexican Constitution Day (Día de la Constititución) (Feb 5), Mexico - Benito Juárez Birthday (Mar 21), Mexico - Battle of Pueblo Day (May 5), Mexico National Day (Sep 1), Mexican Independence Day (Sep 16), Mexican Revolution Day (Nov 20), Feast of the Virgin of Guadalupe (Dec 12), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25)
Two blocks west of San Hipólito, to the right, lies the Plaza San Fernando, on the north side of which will be seen the church of San Fernando, a mid-18th c. building with a relatively plain Baroque front. In the churchyard are the graves of famous Mexicans, including Benito Juárez.
San Juan de Dios
Opposite La Santa Veracruz stands the church of San Juan de Dios, built in 1727. It boasts an interesting façade in the form of a huge niche with a conch-like top and several statues in smaller niches around those of the saints. Adjoining the church is a former hospital in which craft goods are now offered for sale.
Currently housing the General Archives, this building was previously a prison. Built from stone in the Neo-classical style this former prison was erected in 1900. In 1977 the building become home to the Archives.
Opening hours: 8:15am-3pm
Always closed on: New Year's Day (Jan 1), Mexican Constitution Day (Día de la Constititución) (Feb 5), Mexico - Benito Juárez Birthday (Mar 21), Mexico - Battle of Pueblo Day (May 5), Mexico National Day (Sep 1), Mexican Independence Day (Sep 16), Mexican Revolution Day (Nov 20), New Year's Eve (Dec 31), Christmas Eve - Christian (Dec 24), Day after Christmas, St Stephen's Day, Boxing Day (Dec 26), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25), Feast of the Virgin of Guadalupe (Dec 12)
Useful tips: Closed last two weeks of December until January 2.
Transit: Morelos (line 4)
Hotel de Cortés
Operating as a hotel since 1943 this building was built in the 17th c. to house Friars who were passing through the city. Hotel de Cortés is a modern hotel with a Baroque exterior.
North-west of Bellas Artes Pictures
Map of Mexico City Attractions