Manzanares 25, the oldest house in Mexico City

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The house of Manzanares 25 was one of the few buildings that survived the Spanish invasion and its cultural transformation. We tell you, its history.

Have you ever wondered where the oldest house in Mexico City is? It is Manzanares 25, a house that boasts the credit of being the oldest in the capital and that in 2018 became a cultural center.

According to the research of the Spanish architect Juan Benito Artigas, the construction and distribution of the single floor follow the structure of the indigenous houses, which had a single central patio and the rooms distributed around it. In the case of Manzanares 25, the house has twelve rooms. Likewise, Artigas’ investigations have shown that the house was built on its foundations with tezontle, as well as thick rock, adobe and stone for the walls, which implies that it is the same technique used in the constructions of Mexico-Tenochtitlan.

Although during its almost 500 years of history the house underwent some modifications, the original floor plan was preserved. Thanks to its privileged location in the La Merced area, it is thought that it could have been the property of some indigenous nobleman dedicated to commerce. It is known that the area was home to merchants and artisans who followed the architectural model of house-workshop-store.

In addition to its common entrances, Manzanares 25 also had access to the Acequia Real de la Ciudad de México, a canal that existed in the colonial era and that ran from La Merced to the Plaza del Volador, today Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation. Thanks to the canal, products from Xochimilco and Chalco arrived at the center.

Where is the Manzanares 25 Cultural Center?

In 2010, the Historic Center Trust and the National Institute of Anthropology and History began the restoration of the building with the aim of creating the Manzanares 25 Cultural Center, which, in addition to serving as a cultural house focused on children, also serves as a site museum. The rescue of the building not only benefited the conservation of the historical heritage, but also became a property that helps to reduce the gaps of social inequality in one of the most marginalized points of the Cuauhtémoc mayor’s office.

Inaugurated in 2018, this beautiful space benefits girls and boys from Tepito, La Merced and La Candelaria, who can enjoy art workshops, music room and a playroom.

Source: Mexico Desconocido