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The outside of Guanajuato’s Teatro Juarez (Juarez Theater) 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 city 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 Guanajuato theater we’d read about and couldn’t wait to see.
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 Juarez Theater 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 Teatro Juarez.