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Mexico City's original town hall. Mexico City's original town hall.

Mexico City to open its old town hall to the public

The 300-year-old building will open with a photographic exhibition

The Antiguo Palacio del Ayuntamiento, Mexico City’s original town hall located across from the zócalo, will breathe new life next week when the doors of its halls and library open to the general public.

The first town hall was ordered by Hernán Cortés, conqueror of the Mexica, or Aztec, empire in 1526 but it burned to the ground almost completely in 1692.

Reconstruction was ordered by the viceroyalty in 1714. Some modifications aside, that is the building that since 1724 has sat to the south of the zócalo.

The place where the city council traditionally met is known as the Salón de Cabildos, or city hall, a venue that has been closed off to the public since 1928, and used only for special ceremonies.

That will change on Monday when the city government opens its doors to the public with a photographic exhibition called Los visitantes del Cabildo, or “the visitors to the town council.”

The Secretary of Culture explained that “the most representative aspects of art, culture, politics and science” in Mexico City have been brought together for the exhibition.

The show will be housed in the building’s southern patio and showcase photographs from the Historic Photographic Library and Archive of Mexico City.

The Salón de Cabildos contains a gallery of portraits of all 62 Spanish viceroys as well as prominent historical figures.

The building’s library — with more than 5,000 books about history, politics and law — will also be open to visitors.

The Antiguo Palacio will be open to the public every day starting December 10, from 9:00am to 8:00pm.

Source: El Economista (sp)

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