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01.27.2010

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Lira Park
Attractions of Mexico City

Area: Tacubaya
Address:
Parque Lira Avenue on the corner with Benjamín Franklin
Metro: Tacubaya
Metrobus:
Parque Lira

A place framed by exhuberant vegetation and a splendid past, the Lira Park is one of the most interesting public gardens in Mexico City.

The Lira Park is located upon the avenue of the same name, in the neighbourhood of Tacubaya in the central-western area of the city. Its history goes back a long time, when it started out as a huge private property which included the said 'Casa de la Bola' and its orchards and gardens which at one point belonged to the Count of Cortina. With time, parts of the garden were sold separately from the house and became part of a different property most recently owned by the Lira Mora family, textile entrepreneurs who owned it during the first two decades of the 20th Century and whose last name prevailed in the property's name.

The garden of this enormous property, superbly placed within the terrain's slope, was gradually enhanced with the addition of elements fit for a palace, among which there were several bridges, water mirrors, a pergola and beautiful bronze fountains, as well as a big archway at its entrance in neoclassical style decorated with floral elements in plaster which we can still enjoy today. The original vegetation consisted in a rich mixture of the native plants of the area as well as other parts of the country, specially from tropical areas. The vegetation framed a late 19th Century brick residence of which we can still appreciate the chapel's interesting cupola and part of the original construction.

During Lázaro Cárdenas' government the property was expropriated and later used as an asylum for children with mental disorders; it served as such until the offices of the Miguel Hidalgo delegation were established there. The offices continue to function today.

Thanks to its vegetation, which gives the place a very suggestive atmosphere, the Lira Park still preserves a large part of its exotic character. Some elements, like its interior causeway bound by ancient stone walls covered in vines and its bridges, take us back to the splendor of its past and submerge us into an atmosphere of great exhuberance and peacefulness as well as the fact that from its higher points one can catch interesting views of the city. 

If visiting the Lira Park, one must visit the 'Casa de la Bola' as well; its gardens posess the same magic as the park's having once been part of the same property and are kept in an even better condition, as well as housing  interesting marble sculptures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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