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The Monument to the Revolution (Spanish: Monumento a la Revolución) is a landmark and monument commemorating the Mexican Revolution. It is located in Plaza de la República, near to the heart of the major thoroughfares Paseo de la Reforma and Avenida de los Insurgentes in downtown Mexico City.

Monument to the Revolution
Native name
Spanish: Monumento a la Revolución
Monumento a la Revolución Mexico.jpg
LocationCuauhtémoc borough, Mexico City, Mexico
Built1910 - 1938
ArchitectÉmile Bénard
Carlos Obregón Santacilia
Monumento a la Revolución is located in Mexico City Central
Monumento a la Revolución
Location of Monument to the Revolution in Mexico City Central


Model of the Palacio Legislativo.
Construcción del Palacio Legislativo, Guillermo Kahlo, 12 June 1912

The building was initially planned as the Federal Legislative Palace during the regime of president Porfirio Díaz and "was intended as the unequaled monument to Porfirian glory."[1] The building would hold the deputies and senators congress chambers, but the project was not finished due to the war of Mexican Revolution. Twenty-five years later, the structure was converted into a monument to the Mexican Revolution by Mexican architect Carlos Obregón Santacilia. The monument is considered the tallest triumphal arch in the world, it stands 67 metres (220 ft) in height.[2]

The project was planned in 1897, and the government allocated 5 million pesos for its construction. Since the building was a major public project, there was a competition to design it, but no contender was given the first prize. After numerous scandals for the competition and its conditions, the government of Porfirio Díaz appointed a French architect, Émile Bénard to design and construct the palace.[3] The government's selection of a Frenchman as architect, who produced a neoclassical design with "characteristic touches of the French renaissance,",[4] points to government officials' aim to demonstrate Mexico's rightful place as an advanced nation. Díaz laid the first stone in 1910 during the centennial celebrations of Independence, when Díaz also inaugurated the Monument to Mexican Independence ("The Angel of Independence").[5] The building structure was constructed with iron and rather than local Mexican materials used in the stone façade, the design called for Italian marble and Norwegian granite.[6]

Although the Díaz regime was ousted in May 1911 due to the war of Mexican Revolution, the new President Francisco I. Madero, "the Apostle of Democracy," continued the legislative building's construction until 1913, when he was murdered.[7] After Madero's death, the project was cancelled and abandoned for more than twenty years. The structure remained unfinished until 1938, being completed during the presidency of Lázaro Cárdenas.

The Mexican architect Carlos Obregón Santacilia, proposed to convert the abandoned structure into a monument to the heroes of the Mexican Revolution. After his project was approved, the adaptation of the structure began in an eclectic Art Deco and Mexican socialist realism style, over the existing cupola structure of the Palacio Legislativo Federal (Federal Legislative Palace). Mexican sculptor Oliverio Martínez designed four stone sculpture groups for the monument,[8] with Francisco Zúñiga as one of his assistants.

The structure also functions as a mausoleum for the heroes of the Mexican Revolution of 1910, Francisco "Pancho" Villa, Francisco I. Madero, Plutarco Elías Calles, Venustiano Carranza, and Lázaro Cárdenas. Revolutionary general Emiliano Zapata is not buried in the monument, but in Cuautla, Morelos. The Zapata family has resisted the Mexican government's efforts to relocate Zapata's remains to the monument.[9]


  1. ^ Thomas Benjamin, La Revolución: Mexico's Great Revolution as Memory, Myth, and History. Austin: University of Texas Press 2000, p. 121.
  2. ^ SkyscraperPageMonumento a la Revolucion
  3. ^ Benjamin, La Revolución, p. 121.
  4. ^ Benjamin, La Revolución, p. 121.
  5. ^ Benjamin, La Revolución, pp. 121–22.
  6. ^ Benjamin, La Revolución, p. 122.
  7. ^ Benjamin, La Revolución, p. 123.
  8. ^ Benjamin, La Revolución, p. 89, Figure 8 with caption.
  9. ^ Ilene V. O'Malley, The Myth of the Mexican Revolution: Hero Cults and the Institutionalization of the Mexican State, 1920–1940. New York: Greenwood Press 1986, pp. 69–70.

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