Palace of Mines
of Mines, masterpiece of Latin American neoclassicism, is situated
in Mexico City, at the end of Tacuba Street, facing the plaza named
after Manuel Tolsá, where the equestrian statue of Charles
IV, better known as “El Caballito”, creation of the
same artist, is located. The most important civil building, made
up by this Valencian sculptor and architect, was built to house
the Royal Seminar of Mines in order to give academic instruction
to miners since 1813.
The majestic monument of
elegant forms and exact proportions where light, space and functionality
merge, is one of the most outstanding constructions within Mexican
architecture. It is part of the artistic and cultural patrimony
of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), which, at
present time, is under the custody of the School of Engineering.
The extraordinary Ancient
Chapel, the Ceremonies’ Hall, the Dean’s Hall, the Principal’s
Hall, the Deans’ Gallery, and the Library contribute to the
beauty of the Palace, in some of them great examples of mural painting
(XIX century) are kept as the Manuel Tolsá Museum that houses
academies and objects related to his duties as well as masterpieces
of some other artists from his time. To these spaces five patios
are added: the main one with two floors, framed with arches, pilasters
and beautiful and singular columns that lead to a master staircase.
1954, with the moving of the National School of Engineering to University
Campus (Ciudad Universitaria), a transition era for the Palace had
begun: the first year engineering courses were moved to University
Campus. The traditional careers: Mining, Geology and Petroleum Engineering
were taught at the Palace, and other areas such as Civil, Electromechanical
and Topographical Engineering were later studied at University Campus.
As years passed it was necessary
to remodel and restore the monument completely due to foundation
and structural problems that the underground causes in Mexico City,
so therefore a refurbishing of the building was carried out by the
Former Students’ Society of the School of Engineering (SEFI).
In 1976, after the restoration, the Palace was donated to this school
for the use of the school and the students.
Nowadays, this building houses
the home office of the Continual and Distance Education Division
(DECD), the Engineer Bruno Mascanzoni Information and Documentation
Center, the Historical Archives of the Palace of Mines, the Manuel
Tolsá Museum, different engineering groups as well as different
Every year the Palace of
Mines is used as temporary home office of one of the most important
world-wide known publishing events in the country: The International