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The Casa Blanca is one of the oldest and most celebrated buildings in San Ángel. Sprawling and uneven, it was the country house of the so-called “Counts of Oploca,” and said to have orchards second in size only to those of the El Carmen monastery. Those orchards, you’ll recall, covered most of the present-day neighborhood of Chimalistac.
The enormous house is designed so that three of its sides surround a central courtyard. It dates from the mid-17th century. The coat of arms of the family was eliminated from the outside of the house in the early 19th century. This was in accordance with an 1826 decree prohibiting noble titles. The house was known for some time as “Los Niños de China” for one of the owners was involved with rescuing young people from the Philippines. The Philippines, part of the Spanish empire, were still often confused with Chinaat that time.
The house hosted invading troops from the United States in 1847. The French army then followed during their invasion in the 1860s. And although the home briefly served as a home for nuns, today it’s a private residence and can only be seen from the outside. Inside, the Casa Blanca is said to be in very good condition. A very large garden covers half of the 2,000 square meters of land.
Still celebrated, the age-old structure plays a big hand in lending heft and atmosphere to the neighborhood, even from blocks away.