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09.04.2009

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La Bola House
Other attractions

Address: Parque Lira 136
Neighborhood:
Tacubaya

Address: Constituyentes or Observatorio.
Opened: Sundays from 11:00 to 17:00 hrs.
Telephones: 5515 5582 / 5515 8825.
Images of Casa de la Bola 1 2 3 4

 

The legendary La Bola House has a long and interesting history, not only because of the long list of characters to whom it once belonged, but also because it’s located in what used to be the village of San José of Tacubaya. This old population, because of its proximity to Mexico City, acquired great importance during the Viceroyship and in the 19th Century, as the setting of remarkable events and as a place of recreation for the inhabitants of the capital and several personalities.

The property, apart from being a country home, also produced olive oil, and its crop flourished in Tacubaya, in spite of the prohibitions imposed by Spain. Vestiges of the mill and the tubs used to make and store the oil remain in the ground floor rooms.

According to a word of mouth tradition, some celebrated characters once stayed as guests in the La Bola House; among others, la Güera Rodríguez, the Marquise Calderón de la Barca and José Zorrilla, author of Don Juan Tenorio, who lived in Tacubaya during his stay in Mexico. In the second half of the 19th Century, the house remained in the hands of different members of the Rincón Gallardo family.

It wasn’t until October 19th 1942, when Don Antonio Haghenbeck de la Lama bought the estate, turned the house into his place of residence, consolidated its structure and added some elements, among others a beautiful terrace, which he made out of the demolished material from his parents house in Juárez Avenue, today the Variedades Cinema. He furnished the interiors of the top floor sumptuously with European tapestries, curtains, large mirrors, oil lamps and countless works of European and Mexican art, turning the house into an eclectic styled and ornamented mansion that shined at the end of the 19th Century among the aristocracy and high Mexican bourgeoisie. 

The origin of the house’s name as the La Bola House was probably a reference to one of two things: the first is that in the exterior stood a spherical architectural element and the second is that a revolt or conspiracy might have taken place in the house, a frequent situation during the 19th Century.

An outstanding aspect of this estate are its fantastic gardens of the so called romantic style, and also, that it possesses an interesting collection of statues and marble fountains that create a dreamy environment in which it’s possible to feel we have left the city and introduced ourselves in paradise.

In 1984 Don Antonio donated the La Bola House, along with the Santa Monica and the San Cristobal Polaxtla Haciendas so that they could be turned into museums. For this, the Antonio Haghenbeck y de la Lama Cultural Foundation has begun a series of conservation and maintenance projects which will take a long time to complete due to the lack of economic resources.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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