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Calzada de Guadalupe

Photos: Phyrexian, Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International 

The Calzada de Guadalupe is a historical north-south thoroughfare that continues from the end of the Paseo de la Reforma. The causeway continues parallel to the Calzada de los Misterios, northward to the Basilica de Guadalupe.

One of the most iconic streets in Mexico City, the Guadalupe Causeway shares much history with the Calzada de los Misterios. Although Misterios is much older, the Guadalupe Causeway was intended as an improvement on the much older pilgrimage route directly to its west.

The street was built between 1786 and 1791. At that point, the 15 monuments along the adjoining Calzada de los Misterios were already nearly 100 years old and the street was seeing the wear of the millions of pilgrims who’d passed. As the Basilica became increasingly important, it needed an approach that was equally prestigious.

The original street ran, as it does today, from the Garita de Peralvillo, today the Indigenous People’s Museum, all the way to the Villa de Guadalupe. The Pilgrims Monument marks the beginning of the twin pilgrimage routes.

By the mid-19th century, railroads increasingly crossed the area, too. On the Calzada, mule trams increasingly carried passengers. In 1900, operators retired the mules in favor of electric trams.

For most of the 20th century, this was the principal access to the Basilica, although it passed through increasingly industrial territory. Many of the giant shopping plazas alongside the street today were reclaimed from enormous manufacturing plants.

But today it’s as pleasant a promenade as any found in the city. What we see today largely reflects changes made in the 1950s with the additions of planters and benches. Workers finished the newly remodeled stretch it in time for the northeastward extension of Reforma in the 1970s.  But industry had taken a heavy toll on the surrounding neighborhoods. The industrial period only really ended with the closing of a final Ford motor company warehouse in the year 2000. Ford made an enormous number of vehicles here until 1984.

By 2000, the Calzada de los Misterios had been restored again, and both streets today look back on the long history of this part of the City. Beginning at the Colonia Maza in the very south of this stretch, the Calzada de Guadalupe reaches a concentration of markets and crafts sales at its very north. Merchandise is traditionally religious in character but a more recent resurgence in interest in the ancient Coatlaxopeuh means that some indigenous art forms are increasingly to be found amongst everything on offer.

There’s a tremendous amount to be learned from the Calzada de Guadalupe and the surrounding neighborhoods and streets. For an overview, see the page on the Misterios area for many more points of interest.

How to get here

Nearby

Mier & Pesado Institute

Nearest at 0.10 kms.

Glorious Mystery #2

Nearest at 0.17 kms.

Glorious Mystery #1

Nearest at 0.19 kms.

Related

San Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin

A planned temple and sanctuary dedicated to the first saint indigenous to the Americas . . .

Mercado de Comidas Maria Esther Zuno

A fantastic place for eating just outside the basilica . . .

Nuestra Señora de la Luz

A very old church calls to mind the long history of the Villa Guadalupe Hidalgo . . .

Mercado Villa Comidas

A fantastic place for lunch just outside La Villa . . .

Practical guide and services