August 7, 2019

POSTED BY

Jose Fresan

CATEGORY

Anahuacalli. Diego Rivera’s Pre-Hispanic Collection and the Temple that Holds It.

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Photo by Jorge Yazpik www.yazpik.org Diego Rivera’s prehispanic influences can be seen all around his work, but his enthusiasm for native mexican cultures went beyond. He collected nearly 50,000 pre-Hispanic pieces during his life. His love for the cultural heritage of the mexican people, and his desire to protect it, …

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Photo by Jorge Yazpik www.yazpik.org

Diego Rivera’s prehispanic influences can be seen all around his work, but his enthusiasm for native mexican cultures went beyond. He collected nearly 50,000 pre-Hispanic pieces during his life. His love for the cultural heritage of the mexican people, and his desire to protect it, drove him to collect and treasure thousands of artifacts, including hundreds of Mayan, Aztec and Teotihuacan pieces.

In order to protect and hold his collection Rivera came up with the plan of creating a temple of culture and art in the neighborhood of Coyoacan in Mexico City. The Anahucalli, is based on Aztec and Teotihuacan architecture, and it resembles a teocalli, which means “house of gods”. It was built out of volcanic stone from the Title volcano. Diego didn’t actually saw the completion of the building since he passed away in 1957. His daughter, along with architect Juan O’Gorman and philanthropist Dolores Olmedo, carried on with the construction and finally, in 1963, Anahuacalli was completed.

Walking through the tight halls of Anahuacalli makes you feel like walking along the halls of an ancient temple, but at the same time it makes you feel like there’s a modern energy to it. Anahuacalli should be a must see on any Mexico City tour since its perfect balance between ancient and modern architecture makes you aware of how prehispanic heritage is alive and all around Mexico City.

Take a walk through Anahuacalli with this video