La Condesa Neighborhood in Mexico City
Its fame has turned it into one of the most representative, visited and admired neighborhoods in Mexico City. It has an embassy area, with wonderful cafes, parks, clubs and more. We could say that La Condesa is home to recreational, cultural and sporting activities, both night and day.
La Condesa is located between Chapultepec Avenue and Veracruz Street. Its surrounded by the Roma Norte, Juárez, Hipódromo-Condesa and San Miguel Chapultepec neighborhoods, and the forest of the same name, and its considered part of the Cuauhtémoc area in the Central Federal District. La Condesa is easily reached through public transportation, as theres a subway station, a bus stop (with more than 20 different routes), a lot of taxi-cabs and the well accepted Ecobici program (a program that provides bicycles for rent, sponsored by the City Government, by paying a membership fee). These can be rented in one place and dropped in a different one.
This area has also hosted many personalities such as Agustin Lara, Maria Conesa, Juan Soriano, Mario Moreno Cantinflas and many others.
This neighborhood was established in 1902, where the ground was divided into lots for sale. This place was previously a huge estate owned by a Countess named the Condesa de Miravalle, from which it got its current name La Condesa (The Countess).
Later El Toreo (A bullfight arena) was built and the Jockey Club Society settled there, turned into a horse racing track (hence the name of the neighborhood: Hipódromo-Condesa). The Mexican Revolution ended with this beautiful place and it was not until late 1920, when several buildings began to rise around and over the old racetrack. Unlike most of the city, the road planning and decoration of the place were quite adequate (the proof is its medians filled with trees and pedestrian crossings) to the extent that over the years, its attractiveness, far from diminishing, has increased.
The buildings reflect the neoclassical style. It has already celebrated its one hundred years with various events such as parades, art galleries openings and concerts. In addition, many retail outlets offered attractive discounts on this anniversary. There was some disagreement about a commemorative plaque made to honor its anniversary, but for some strange reason, it was originally placed outside the boundary of the neighborhood and had to be relocated afterwards.
The area is worth visiting almost any time of the day; during the morning, you can visit cafes and various shops ranging from boutiques and bookstores, to organic items and antique shops. The best streets for a stroll are Mazatlán, Michoacán, Juan de la Barrera and Francisco Márquez.
On Mazatlán Ave. you will find beautiful buildings worth a picture, as the Condesa building, and many houses with different construction styles. In total, there are over 250 buildings of artistic value in the neighborhood. Also on this avenue, there are various locations such as coffee shops, gourmet restaurants, spas and different stores. I consider important to mention that on number 10 of same avenue, at the corner of Veracruz St. there is located the CECATI # 25 (Center for Industrial Job Training), which specializes in crafts and is distinguished from others by being the only one in the City offering three different courses of Art History. Several buildings in the area have been restored: , One of them is the Belle Epoque Cultural Center. This place was remodeled by architect Teodoro González de León on behalf of the Editorial Fondo de Cultura Económica and inside, there is also a library, a screening room to enjoy amateur movies and a place for temporary exhibitions.
Talking about arts, we find several theaters like the Shakespeare Forum, which always offers various plays, or the Casa de la Paz Theater. Also at 70 Acapulco Street, we can find the Jewish Holocaust Historical Museum, which remind us the will of the Jewish people against adversity.
On the other hand, also worth mentioning, there are great parks such as: Parque de la Colonia, Parque México and Parque España. The first one has a circular form and is located at the corner of Michoacán and México Avenues. The Charles Lindbergh Auditorium is located in this park, and has some details of Art Deco´s architecture;. There are also a few fountains and a small lake, and it hosts various exhibitions on weekends. The Parque España, is located at the boundaries of La Condesa and Roma neighborhoods. It is a green area frequented by many dog walkers and runners, as well as children, since it has a playground area. On its west side, there is also a monument of President Lázaro Cárdenas.
The nightlife at La Condesa is also extremely rich (even to disturb the neighbors in the weekends because of lack of parking spaces. There are bars, clubs, and even karaoke for all tastes, however, we must consider that most places, though they have great music and drinks are quite expensive.
Finally, I would like to point out that part of the "Turibús" tour takes place at La Condesa area, and if we make the trip, we will learn even more about its attractions. I recommend you to take this tour and read the Explorando México article about the Turibus. In the following page, we can see a map of La Condesa:
Article produced by the Editorial Team of "Explorando Mexico".
Copyright Explorando México, All rights reserved.
Photo: Juan Pablo Rico