Tag Archives: palace

Palacio de Medicina (Palace of Medicine), Mexico City

By Juan Manuel Rodriguez Caso

Palacio de medicina (1)

Palacio de la Escuela de Medicina (Palace of the School of Medicine) is located opposite the main square of Santo Domingo, and was built under the direction of Pedro Arrieta, who began the work on the December 5, 1732 and completed for 1736 Christmas.

The frame is adorned on both sides, with four columns and two pillars carved in stone granite, with capitals of composite order. Human face figures, reminiscent of the late Sixteenth century decorate the frieze.

The cover art, with an eight-side top, it is an example of Eighteenth century Baroque Hispanic art, provides a framework for the door, on two sheets of thick boards covered and trimmed with sturdy nails.

Palacio de medicina (2)

At the second level are repeated details of the ground floor, including the eight-side arch, except the columns replaced by pilasters; the balcony railing is Biscay iron.

On the upper level, the top was used to display the emblem of the Holy Office. From the crest on either side, there are rows of battlements that give the impression of solemnity to the building.

The large patio is a perfect square, and in every angle the builder makes the arches of the angles remain with nothing resembling the hold. This is the keystone extended to below under “pendatif”, as some descriptions, or “adaraja” as the old Moor builders from Spain used to call it.

This beautiful monument of classical art-model of the past century-styled by Manuel Villar and his disciple Soriano, was presented by the Academia de Bellas Artes de San Carlos (Academy of Arts of San Carlos) to the School of Medicine and solemnly inaugurated in the year 1860.

Palacio de medicina (3)

Incidentally, the old building of the Inquisition, included not only this house, but also next door, 35 Avenue Brazil, before a number of Third Street in Santo Domingo, acquired in 1915 for the School of Medicine by Dr. Don Angel Hidalgo. Farther north, the buildings where the garages were the inquisitors, the first street in Colombia, for centuries called “street parking” in what is now Venezuela Street, were perpetual prisons , so that the street was called until 1916, Street of Perpetuity.

On June 8, 1813 was closed in Mexico the Holy Office under the decree of the Spanish Courts, since on February 22 on the same year was disappeared on Spain. However, Ferdinand VII, he was restored January 21, 1814 until it was finally abolished on 31 May 1820.

After several uses like Military College, National Lottery, Lancaster school and state government offices, in 1854 was acquired by Mr. Urbano Fonseca, inspector of public instruction for the School of Medicine.

Palacio de Minería (Palace of Mines), Mexico City

By Juan Manuel Rodriguez Caso

Colegio de Minería (College of Mining) building on Tacuba street in the Centro of Mexico City

Close to one of the most representative buildings related to arts and culture in Mexico, Palacio de Bellas Artes (Palace of Arts), an architectonic jewel of marble and French style, it is one of the more distinctive places in the history of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM, in Spanish), Palacio de Minería.

It can be considered a masterpiece of Latin-American neoclassicism, situated at the end of Tacuba Street, and in front on the plaza named Manuel Tolsá (a Valencian sculptor and architect in charge of construction of the Palace), better known as “El Caballito” (“The Little Horse”), because an equestrian statue of Spanish king Charles IV. Palacio de Minería was built to house the Royal Seminar of Mines (also known as the Mining Tribunal) in order to give academic instruction to miners since 1813, after 16 years of construction.

The Palace is usually described like a majestic monument of elegant forms and exact proportions where light, space and functionality merge, and because of this, it is one of the most outstanding constructions in Mexico City, and also it is part of artistic and cultural patrimony of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), which, at present time, is under the custody of the School of Engineering.

Inside the Palace, we can find beautiful and marvellous venues like the Ancient Chapel, the Ceremonies’ Hall, the Dean’s Hall, the Principal’s Hall, and the Library, all of them great examples of mural paintings kept as the Manuel Tolsá Museum that houses academies and objects related to his duties as well as masterpieces of some other artists from his time.

In 1954, the School of Engineering moved to the new Campus, Ciudad Universitaria (University City, in the south of the city), which meant a transition era for the Palace: the first year engineering courses were taught in the new Campus, while the traditional careers, such as Mining, Geology and Petroleum Engineering stayed at the Palace, and other areas like Civil, Electromechanical and Topographical Engineering were later studied at University City.

Palacio de Minería

The Palace was remodelled and restored in the next years, due a foundation and structural problems that the underground causes in Mexico City, so therefore a refurbishing of the building was carried out by the Former Students’ Society of the School of Engineering. In 1976, after the restoration, the Palace was donated to this school for the use of the school and the students.

Nowadays, this building houses the home office of the Continual and Distance Education Division (DECD), the Engineer Bruno Mascanzoni Information and Documentation Center, the Historical Archives of the Palace of Mines, the Manuel Tolsá Museum, different engineering groups as well as different administrative areas.

Every year the Palace of Mines is used as temporary home office of one of the most important world-wide known publishing events in the country: The International Book Fair.