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The Benito Juárez Hemicycle is one of the multiple focal points of the Alameda Central. A meeting point, a prominent landmark and a historical monument, it is as Neoclassical as things get.
Semicircular, with a strong Greek influence, the monument’s 12 Doric columns support an entablature and a frieze structure of the same order. The central sculpture represents Benito Juárez with an allegorical “homeland” crowning him in laurels. The second allegory, “law” holds a torch above his head. Below, the eagle of republicanism spreads its wings on Neo-Aztec frets and a base on which two lions recline.
The central pillar medallion reads:
“To Praiseworthy Benito Juárez, the Homeland.”
Construction of the monument began in 1906 to commemorate the centennial of Juárez’s birth. Engineers were personally assigned by Porfirio Díaz, and the sculptures were completed by the Italian artist, Alessandro Lazzerini.
Dedicated on September 18, 1910, the Benito Juárez Hemicycle was the site of National Lottery drawings for decades. The same space had been the site of the Kiosko Morisco when it returned from several events abroad. When the Lottery moved into its own building, the monument became a backdrop for thousands of photos and it remains so to this day.
Eastbound Turibus Historic Center Circuit buses stop opposite the monument on the Avenida Juárez, nearly in front of the Corpus Cristi Temple. Westbound buses will be north of the Alameda Central outside the Franz Mayer Museum on the Avenida Hidalgo. The walk from one side to the other takes about five minutes.