Mexico City’s historic arts center showcases art nouveau architecture, murals, and performances of ballet, opera and classical music.
The Palace of Fine Arts (Palacio de Bellas Artes) is Mexico City’s premier arts institution and one of its architectural landmarks. This palace was built in 1934 in the art nouveau style, with large domes and marble columns. Inside, the main hall is a cavernous space, filled with natural light from the glass dome above. Find three upper levels devoted to art, including works by famous Mexican muralists. At night, see a show at the palace’s theater, which hosts world-class opera, folk and classical music.
The palace’s main hall and three upper levels are devoted to Mexican art. In the main hall, see sculptured masks of Mayan gods. The first floor features murals by Rufino Tamayo. See his artwork Nacimiento de la Nacionalidad (Birth of the Nationality), which is dedicated to Mexican people of mixed ancestry. The palace’s best-known mural is El Hombre En El Cruce de Caminos, (Man at the Crossroads) by Diego Rivera. It was intended for the Rockefeller Center in New York City in the 1930s but it was rejected because of its strong communist themes.
The art deco theater hosts Mexican and foreign operas as well as performances of classical music, ballet and Mexican folk music. Check ahead of your visit for program details and ticket prices. The palace theater’s is famous for its stage curtain. The curtain was made by Tiffany’s in New York and consists of nearly a million pieces of stained glass. It includes a mural depicting the Valley of Mexico and its two volcanoes. Free guided tours to see the stage curtain are held daily during opening hours.
The Palace of Fine Arts is located in Mexico City’s Historic Center. It’s easy to reach on foot, taxi or the city’s metro system. There are many restaurants and cafés within walking distance. Allow one to two hours to explore the palace, which is free to enter and open Tuesday through Sunday.