Calle República de el Salvador, a non-touristy downtown side street, is full of all sorts of unexpected surprises. We begin our walk at the Mexican-Israel Cultural Center (originally a tenement as samples of the original walls attest to) to learn about early Jewish migration to Mexico; check out an art museum run by the Foreign Affairs Ministry; see the crazy, wild, colorful murals of Russian-born Mexican muralist Vlady in a local library; stop at the still-functioning, first hospital founded in the Americas in 1524 by Hernan Cortes; and visit the nearby Jesus of Nazareth Church where Hernan Cortes is laid to rest under a nearby ceiling boasting an obscure, unfinished mural by Jose Clemente Orozco inspired by the Apocalypse. We’ll also see streets lined with specialty homeopathic medicines, herb shop, lots of stationery, teachers’ and electronic stores along the way!
We end our walk at the Mexico City Museum, originally home of the Count of Calimaya, which boasts a prehispanic serpent sculpture on the corner. Once the home and former studio of Mexican impressionist painter Joaquin Clausell, it has walls covered with thousands of dreamlike oil paintings – a secret, well-preserved and moving collection of Mexico’s impressionism at its best.
This unusual, eclectic walking tour takes about 3 hours.