Cloister of the Convent of La Merced

Claustro del Convento de la Merced

This convent is one of the loveliest examples of Mudéjar art in all the Americas. 

Recollections of the Orden de la Merced (Order of Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy), the booming of canons, stories of daily life, wild love affairs, and sculpture and painting classes are some of the four centuries of memories clinging to the limestone of this place, once one of the most magnificent convents in the colonies. The Reform laws spared only the cloister with its courtyard encircled by loggia. This first floor is held up by smooth columns topped with Doric capitals, arches marked with pineapple reliefs, and gargoyles carved in the shape of lion heads. The second level features double archways and columns wrapped in lattice reliefs intertwined with vegetables, bunches of grapes, and flowers. The diamond-shaped points on the arches are especially stunning. 

During the 1920’s, the place was about to be demolished, but the painter Gerardo Murillo, also known as Dr. Atl, saved it from destruction by turning it into his home and studio. Years later, it became the Escuela Libre de Escultura y Talla Directa (Sculpture and Carving School) which taught classes to workers, laborers, and children. 

To get a closer look at this historic monument, peek through the latticework on República de Uruguay street. 




Claustro del Convento de la Merced, Historic center of Mexico City, Centro, Mexico City, CDMX, Mexico

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