The outside of the Juarez Theater (Teatro Juarez) blew us away. We had foolishly decided to walk from our hotel (the lovely Quinta Las Acacias) to the historical center in Guanajuato, a gem of a colonial town in Mexico. Some TripAdvisor reviews noted it was only a 20-minute walk. But we didn’t know our way around, so it took us over an hour. (Mind you, it was a pleasant walk.)
And then, as we entered the pedestrian-only historical zone and turned a corner, there it was! Teatro Juarez – the ornate theater we’d read about and couldn’t wait to see.
Juarez Theater in Guanajuato
Dating back to 1873, it’s decorated on the outside with Greek columns and lion sculptures. On top, the roof is crowned with eight bronze statues of the Greek mythological muses.
Inside the Teatro Juarez is also worth a look
The carpet is worn from constant use (people still watch performances in the theater). And the seating seems a bit crammed-in.
But the red-and-gold interior (plush velvet curtains, red leather covered chairs) certainly reflects the lavish tastes of Mexican dictator Porfirio Diaz, who inaugurated the theater.
Back outside, we joined the university students and others (locals and visitors alike) sitting on the wide expanse of steps leading up to the Juarez Theater.
Perched there, we basked in the sunshine and the glorious lookout over the Jardin Union – the triangular plaza in Guanajuato’s center, fringed by gnarled ancient laurel trees, their deep-green crowns trimmed square to shade pedestrians on the sidewalk just below.
Gazing at the outdoor cafes and shops that ring the plaza and the bustle of people walking past, we felt as though we’d been transported to the Spanish Steps in Rome.
Only the Spanish spoken all around us reminded us that we were in Mexico. In Guanajuato. At the Juarez Theater.
If you visit the Juarez Theater
- Hours: The theater is only open to visitors when no performances are scheduled. Opening hours are 9am to 1pm and 4pm to 6pm, Tues-Sun (closed Mondays)
- Admission: 30 pesos (or less than $3 USD)