Abelardo L Rodriguez Market

My continuing search for hidden gems has, after a forum request for hidden gems I haven’t yet found, turned up another little treasure. In a fairly non-descript street, slightly off the beaten tourist trail stands a fairly non descript building. Although, it has to be said, more people venture through this once seedy and slightly risky part of the Distrito Federal these days than just a year or three ago. The Sunday ciclothon route goes past this building most weeks.

But you perhaps wouldn’t stop and venture inside unless you knew what to expect. You’d be far more likely to stop and venture inside the Church of La Nuestra Señora de San Loreto, which sits on the very next block. And so you should by the way. It’s one of the most fabulous interiors of any religious structure in the city.

But back to the mercado in question. Bland it may be from the outside. And it’s steel and plastic 1930’s  interior construction is nothing that would particularly catch your eye either. What it does have to offer visitors though, are huge murals painted on the walls and ceilings at the many points of entry into the market place. Are they by Rivera? Orozco? Siqueiro? No, I don’t think so. They decorate palaces when they aren’t busy constructing artistic monuments to themselves.

The murals in this market were painted by students. But before you lose interest, they were students of Rivera, working under his supervision. And jolly good work they did too. I’m sure Diego was impressed. Although artists do tend to be a bit temperamental, so maybe not. Anyway, the mercado has now duly been added to my Bing map as place 32, and the photos are here on Flickr. You can read more about the mercado on Wikipedia.

Machine And Muscle


6 thoughts on “Abelardo L Rodriguez Market

  1. Very ice job on the photos, and a nice guide to what is the perfect setting for a work celebrating the working class, but it isn’t so much a work by “students of Rivera” as work overseen by a disciple of Rivera, the U.S. born Pablo O’Higgins’. Several of the workers on the Mercado Abelardo Rodriguez murals though, were Rivera’s students.

    O’Higgins — having a smaller ego (and waistline… but then, who didn’t?) than Rivera isn’t as well known, and being the second generation of Mexican muralists , and “only” a naturalized Mexican, has been sadly neglected as a Mexican muralist, although there is a fine O’Higgins mural just around the corner from the Mercado at San Ildefonso.

    I wrote a little bit about O’Higgins back in January 2005, before the restoration work was started. Thanks for the nice post on the “new. improved” Mercado… too many writers only venture into Tepito for the blood and guts and overlook the hidden charms and surprising corners of high culture buried in the barrio bravo.


    • It’s in Tepito? You mean, I’d wandered into the blood and guts capital of the capital without knowing it? I’d have looked out for some blood and guts if I’d known…. 🙂 Really though, I though I needed to travel a fair few blocks north to get into Tepito, but then I hadn’t checked the map beforehand.

      Pablo O’Higgens….I’d kept hearing the name and didn’t pay enough attention to what I was being told. A brief muttering of Rivera so catches the attention more than a hollored call of O’Higgens. We’d stopped at the church next door and spoke to a chap in there for a bit, who seemed to know a fair bit about the market. He’s the one who tried to tell me about poor Pablo.

      Thanks for the link. It’s nice to know more about what I was looking at.


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