As the symbol of an entire district the Moorish
Kiosk was, from its creation, one of the most
characteristic constructions of the area of Santa
María la Ribera.
The Moorish Kiosk is located in the centre of Santa
María la Ribera Road, on the corner where Dr. Atl
and Salvador Díaz Mirón streets meet.
The history of this kiosk dates back to the end of
the 19th Century, when it was designed by
the Engineer José Ramón Ibarrola as Mexico’s
Pavilion for the Universal Exhibition of 1884 – 1885
and for the St Louis Missouri Fair in 1902. The
structure of this kiosk (comprised of several arches
and Mohammedan columns) is completely made of iron,
a fashionable material in that time, and is thought
to have been cast in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in
ovens owned by the Northamerican magnate Andrew
Carnegie who was a friend of the kiosk’s designer.
After having participated in both exhibitions, the
structure was brought back to Mexico in the
beginning of the 20th Century and was
installed to one side of the Central Alameda, in
front of the Ex-Convent of Corpus Christi. During
its time in this place, the Moorish Kiosk was host
of the National Lotery raffles. Later, during the
centennial celebrations, President Porfirio Díaz
ordered for the Hemicycle to Juarez to be installed
in that place. Because of this, and because of a
petition from the people who lived in the Santa
María la Ribera district, the kiosk was changed to
its actual location, where it has turned into the
community’s meeting place and its great pride. This
pride has fed a lot of myths about this
construction, from the fact that it was donated by
an Arab sheik to its association with astrological
and magical aspects because of its octagonal shape
and the great number of geometric decorations on it.
The fact is that this kiosk stands out because it’s
the only construction of its kind in the city.
Several activities take place in the kiosk, from
concerts of classical music or of popular bands, to
neighborhood meetings or ballroom dances; they all
grant this place a vitality that has been alive for
more than 100 years.