This lovely residential neighborhood, named after the duchess who once inhabited the place, is a great place for a Sunday stroll! With its many parks, quiet streets, giant palm trees, restaurants, little cafés, hipster stores, art déco buildings… la Condesa has a lot to offer! It is even sometimes compared to Soho in New York!
Due to its fascinating history, La Condesa now displays an interesting blend of architecture, each era having brought its own style: Spanish colonial architecture, large mansions based on 19th century French architecture, Art Deco buildings, innovative modern designs…
A few history words…
In the 18th century – when Mexico’s was still a Spanish colony with a Viceroy, dukes, earls, etc – a countess was living on these lands: the Countess of Miravalle. Her lands were vast and some of the buildgings she owned are still visible today: her manor house is now occupied by the Russian Embassy; her horse track has become one of the most expensive streets of Mexico City (Amsterdam Street), famous for its expensive rents and its elliptical shape. So the neighborhood that we know today as “La Condesa” (“the countess” in Spanish) was named after this fine lady.
Over the years, this land was gradually subdivided. In 1902, La Condesa was officially established as a “colonia” and remained the home to a number of upper-class citziens. It was designed from the beginning with great infrastructures, large parks and large tree-lined avenues. It kept on growing and became popular with middle and upper classes as well as a number of foreigners.
After falling “out of fashion” in the 1970s and 1980s, the colonia started attracting new generations again and today it is one of the most pleasant neighborhoods of the Mexican capital.
Let’s start walking around this beautiful neighborhood!
The Condesa buildings
“Los Condesa” as they are often called, are at the heart of La Condesa. This complex which occupies an entire block was the first luxury apartment complex to be built in the neighborhood. Construction started in 1911 with a total of 170 apartments. Today they are very popular and there is a very long waiting to live there!
The old man on Pachuca
He is often spotted there, a few steps away from the Condesa Buildings.
This is one of my favorite streets! An alley of trees is splitting the street into two. The rich past was of the capital is definitely palpable here with the gorgeous mansions. The doors and windows have gorgeous details.
Hotel Condesa df
At the end of the Veracruz Street, you can’t miss the beautiful Condesa DF hotel. This beautiful building from 1928 with a French neoclassical style façade has been entirely refurbished inside and the modernity of the rooms greatly constrasts with the outside. Do not miss the roof-top terrace. You can freely access it for a drink even if you are not a guest of the hotel and from there you will have an amazing view on La Condesa and its parks.
- Av Veracruz nº 102, Cuauhtemoc, Condesa, 06700 Ciudad de México, D.F.
- More information on the hotel website here.
The España park
Right next to the Hotel Condesa df, you will find the parque España. It was established in 1921 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the Mexican War of Independence.
Two steps away from the parque México, you will find a lovely plaza with an unpronounceable name: Popocatepetl. This lovely plaza named after a Mexican volcano, is decorated with a beautiful Art Déco fountain from 1927. Many little cafés are to be found by the plaza and the last I went I found this delicious French bakery!
From there we will walk around the circular Avenida México, on the footsteps of the countess of Miravalle. This is one of my favorite avenues in La Condesa!
This avenue is flanked by beautiful houses that seem to be coming straight from another era and the parque México is located right at its center.
The park used to be the center of the racetrack that occupied the colonia in the times of the countess. When the rest of her lands were parceled into residential units, the horse track remained to add a green touch to the area. Today it is considered to be the “lungs” of this neighborhood.
The San Martin building is an example of Art Deco architecture in Mexico, which was popular in the 1930s.
#161 Avenue México
#171 avenue México
Let’s finish our tour of the parque México…