Coyoacán or “the place of the coyotes¨ has been important in the history of Mexico. In pre-hispanic times it provided water to the great Tenochtitlán; during the Conquest it was the place Hernán Cortés chose to build his palace and in modern times, it was the meeting place for intellectuals and artists. Coyoacán was once a colonial village separated from Mexico City proper by farmlands and lakes, and it remains one of the most traditional neighborhoods of the “Distrito Federal” or “D.F.” or what the locals call Mexico City. The plazas and narrow cobbled streets, once part of huge haciendas and convents, invite strolling, and the plazas fill with street vendors selling handcrafts.
Frida Kahlo Museum
The artist was born in this house to a German father and Mexican mother in 1907. Now acclaimed by critics and collectors worldwide, Kahlo painted for years in the shadow of her famed muralist husband, Diego Rivera. She suffered a crippling injury in her early years, and her art suggests a stoic life full of pain and self-absorption. A selection of Kahlo’s personal art collection is on display — including pre-Hispanic artifacts and Mexican folk art, as well as works by well-known artists such as José María Velasco, Paul Klee and Rivera. Particularly interesting are Kahlo’s self-portraits, which combine her own self-examination with her fascination with communist ideology and Amerindian folkways.
Leon Trotsky House Museum
We travel back in time and visit the house in which Leon Trotsky lived with his wife Natalia Ivanovna Sedova from 1939 to 1940, and where the Russian dissident was murdered. The house has been kept as it was at that time, especially the study in which a Catalan, Ramón Mercader killed Trotsky with an ice axe to the back of the head. Around the house is a garden where you can still appreciate the high walls with watchtowers.
Mexico City’s Secretary of Tourism recently named the San Ángel neighborhood a Barrio Mágico (Magic Neighborhood). San Ángel's cobblestone streets, plazas, gardens and elegant estates are reminiscent of the neighborhood’s rich colonial past. This magical district, located south of Mexico City, conserves an elegant and stately air, which mingles old houses, history, legends, art and gastronomy. Throughout the year the San Ángel neighborhood hosts several festivals and cultural celebrations including the San Ángel Flower Festival and the Fiesta de la Virgen del Carmen. San Ángel’s Bazaar Sabado (Saturday market), held in a two-story building located just off the main Plaza San Jacinto, is an ideal place to browse an array of quality handicrafts from across Mexico.
House-Studio of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo
One of the most important cultural landmarks of Mexico City, it is considered the first construction of the modern movement in the American continent. It was built by the Mexican architect Juan O’Gorman, a recent graduate of the UNAM, who designed spare, rectilinear buildings following the Functionalist Style of architect Le Corbusier.
We will continue to the Anahuacalli Museum for a guided tour of this fascinating house, designed by Rivera in the last years of his life and filled with his prodigious collection of pre-Colombian art. This fascinating and unusual building was built by architects Juan O’Gorman, Heriberto Pagelson and Rivera’s own daughter Ruth and completed it after his death. Built of black volcanic rock, it takes the form of a pyramid. The word Anahuacalli means “house of water”.