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Portal de Santo Domingo

Désolé, cet article est seulement disponible en Anglais Américain et Espagnol Mexicain.

The Portal de Santo Domingo occupies the entire west side of the Plaza de Santo Domingo. And many Mexico City residents will tell you that nothing is so characteristic of the plaza as these Portales running down the western edge. Since the early 19th century the building has also been known as the "Portal de los Evangelistas" (Portal of the Evangelists). This is in reference to the scribes, typists, and printers who moved in around that time although the building is a bit older. Originally intended as housing for the extended community of Santo Domingo, it was designed and built by architects Diego Pedraza and Juan Jaramillo in the 17th century. The buildings at República de Cuba #s 94 and 96, originally one house, have the date "1685" engraved on one of the stone arches. At that time, they were known as the Portales de la Natividad and the Antiguo Coliseo. The building we see today was almost entirely rebuilt in the 18th century. After Mexican Independence, the need for letter writers amongst a largely illiterate population grew exponentially. Those who served as scribes often worked with quills and ink bottles. Typewriters and various printing methods appeared only much later. The nickname "evangelists" took on a paradoxical meaning when, for a time, some of the vendors only made ends meet by dealing in forged and often illegal documents. There is a legend that Fidel Castro bought a false passport here in the 1950s. This allowed him to cross borders and plan the Cuban Revolution, but this is most likely just a legend... Mexico City restored the building in 1968, removing many of the alterations that had been made over the course of the building's 300-year life. Today it's still an important center for printing invitations, academic theses, and certain types of official certificates. It shouldn't be forgotten that the Santo Domingo Portal has also housed some of the oldest "puestitos" in the City. Before our era of street stalls made of plastic tarps and metal tubes, many people made their livings from tiny wooden stalls. Some are still in use here and to the north of the Plaza, in the shadow of the church next to Leandro Valle. They are the wonderful remnants of a world long gone by.

How to get here
  • Santo Domingo 4-12, Centro Histórico, Cuauhtémoc, 06010 CDMX


Plaza de Santo Domingo

Nearest at 0.04 kms.

Edificio de la antigua Aduana, SEP

Nearest at 0.05 kms.

Terraza Domingo Santo

Nearest at 0 kms.

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El Mayor

Nearest at 0.3 kms.

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Señor de la Expiración Chapel

A remarkable chapel on the edge of the Plaza de Santo Domingo . . .

Plaza de Santo Domingo

One of Central Mexico City's most important historic plazas . . .

Edificio de la antigua Aduana, SEP

The old customs building today shows off some the SEP's extensive art collection.

Santa Catarina Church & Plaza, La Lagunilla

One of the most dramatic of old Baroque temples in the City, this one is the parish church of La Lagunilla.

Palace of the School of Medicine / Palace of the Inquisition

Still one of the most magnificent of center city palaces, that of the Inquisition is not one to miss.

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