The Mercado 2 de abril opened on April 2nd, 1902. It was the first market designed and built exclusively as a public market. It was also the last until 1937 when the Abelardo L. Rodríguez Market opened on the other side of the Centro Histórico. With around 115 vendors presently housed there, the 2 de abril is still going strong.
The market is named for the date of the victory of the Battle of Puebla, fought against the French invaders, way back in 1867. When the market opened that was still well within the lifetimes of the market’s first patrons. Even more important, the 2 de abril neighborhood had been marked off from the Guerrero neighborhood, just to the north. Porfiro Díaz had designated colonia Guerrero only in 1873. And 2 de abril was to be, now, the rich people’s part of Guerrero. And who was the great hero of the battle of 2 de abril? You guessed it, Porfiro Díaz.
There’s always been speculation, probably because of the market’s “flying iron” design, that Gustave Eiffel must have had something to do with it.
The same speculation, untruthfully, has been batted around with regard to the El Chopo Museum, as Eiffel had in fact spent some time in Mexico prior to the turn of the century. His masterful Palacio de Hiero in Orizaba, Veracruz is still one of the major attractions in that part of the state. Closer to home, Eiffel did build a bridge in Ecatepec, and no longer functioning as a bridge, it served briefly as a contemporary art space. Today the bridge is entirely abandoned, even while the Mercado 2 de abril keeps going strong.
The market is just north of the Alameda Central.