Dominating the Jardín de la Unión, Guanajuato’s pretty main square, is the beautiful Juárez Theater (Teatro Juárez), the city’s opera house.
Opened in 1930 after some 30 years of construction, this splendid neoclassical building is notable for its massive Doric columns supporting a Romanesque portico adorned with nine bronze statues of the Greek muses, as well as the steps leading up to the building, a favorite meeting place for locals and tourists alike.
The building’s plush Art Nouveau interior is also worth seeing for its rich gilded décor, finely carved wood, and stained glass, especially if you can do so while taking in one of the theater’s regular musical or dance performances.
Eight facts you should know about Teatro Juarez:
1. It was built from 1872 to 1903 by architect José Noriega and completed by the Mexican architects Antonio Rivas Mercado and Alberto Malo.
2. It had its peak in the late nineteenth century, until the outbreak of the Mexican Revolution.
3. Its name is due to the liberal President Benito Juárez.
4. It has hosted the International Cervantino Festival since 1972.
5. Before being the theater, it was a convent of barefooted Franciscans in the city of Guanajuato.
6. October 27, 1903 was inaugurated by Porfirio Diaz, and the opera Aida by Giuseppe Verdi was presented.
7. Its Roman-inspired Doric peristyle stands out, its theater follows the models of the European halls, it has a horseshoe shape, with four orders of boxes and general locations, its interior decoration is oriental style.
8. On the columns of the room rests an architrave that simulates quarry, which in turn holds the frieze ornamented with garlands and masks of bronze.
Address: Sopena S/N, Zona Centro, 36000 Guanajuato, GTO