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SDC-ENP / José Clemente Orozco Gallery

The SDC-ENP is the Secretariat of Cultural Diffusion of the National Preparatory School (Secretaría de Difusión Cultural de la Escuela Nacional Preparatoria). It’s an important part of the UNAM educational network of high schools.

For international visitors, it’s probably best known for hosting the Galería José Clemente Orozco. This gallery hangs temporary exhibits of interest to the general public and to the National Prep community. These normally include art exhibits, as well those of cultural and historic interest to the community. Visitors shouldn’t confuse this gallery with the Galería José María Velasco which bore the same name until it was changed in 1962.

On site, there are also number of important murals as well as the small Museum of the National Preparatory School. This includes a Scientific Room, with displays of 19th century scientific equipment. A Historical Hall presents some artifacts related to the lives of those who built and developed the school, plus art, objects, and furniture that belonged to the school’s founders.

The facility also houses the Erasmo Castellanos Quinto Library. Donated by the former teacher, the collection includes some 7,000 works. Some of them dating back to the 16th century, and much of the collection is kept on the original bookcases from the Colegio de San Ildefonso. It’s just across the street.

Hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.


The historic site at San Ildefonso No 30 was long part of the Convent of Santa Catalina de Siena begun in 1619. The ENP, in fact, today makes much more of that old convent open and visible to the public. The property was originally donated by Dominican nuns known as Las Felipas. They gave it to the Sienese sisters who were able to officially open their new convent in 1623. It then survived as a convent for more than 200 years. The former convent's most famous occupant was actually forced to stay here. The famed Queretaro insurgent, Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez, was imprisoned here for three years during the War for Independence. She had successfully warned the priest Miguel Hidalgo of the discovery of the insurgent conspiracy. This likely saved Hidalgo's life and instigated the first insurgent uprisings in 1810. Ortiz de Domínguez died in 1829 almost around the corner from the site of the convent, in a house at #5 Calle del Carmen. By 1858, in the wake of the Reform War, a military college was briefly installed in the newly abandoned convent. The military medical corps put the building to use as a hospital in 1863, and later simply housed soldiers here. The immense complex was slowly broken down and much of it sold off to independent buyers. Some 100 years later, the ENP had established Preparatory No. 2. The building served as one of the UNAM's high schools from 1952 to 1978. The ENP later developed an academic cultural area within the complex. Today, that old indistinct area survives as the Secretariat of Cultural Diffusion that works across all nine of the ENP high schools.

How to get here
  • San Ildefonso 30, Centro Histórico, Alc. Cuauhtémoc, 06020 CDMX



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