Hospicio Cabañas, Guadalajara

I travelled north-west from Morelia to Guadalajara to see one building and one landscape. In the end I just saw the building and decided not to bother with the Tequila agave fields, partly because I don’t like the drink very much and partly because it didn’t sound worth the trip. So my apologies to anyone who has been eagerly awaiting a Lego cactus.

Hospicio Cabanas, Guadalajara

Hospicio Cabanas, Guadalajara

Guadalajara itself was alright but not massively special, although I did stay in a lovely hostel, mostly occupied by a group of people from a wide range of countries, here to study teaching English as a foreign language (TEFOL). On the night of my arrival the Canadian member of the group was cooking a Thanksgiving dinner for ten or so and invited me along, which made for a great evening and a welcome chance to converse in English.

The Hospicio Cabañas was built in the early 19th century to house the old, sick, disabled, orphaned and similarly needy of the city. It is an extensive network of courtyards surrounded by shady arched arcades and high ceiling single-storey buildings. At the centre is a chapel with a rather delicate domed lantern.

Hospicio Cabanas, Guadalajara

Hospicio Cabanas, Guadalajara

In the 1930s the chapel was painted with a group of famous murals by a Mexican artist called  José Clemente Orozco. To be honest they were not entirely to my taste although they grew on me as I studied them trying to work out what they were about. They seemed to be rather depressing, showing the dominance of Religion, the Spanish and machines, if I was reading them right.

Murals in the Hospicio Cabanas, Guadalajara

Murals in the Hospicio Cabanas, Guadalajara

The building is now a cultural institute and many of the courtyards I wandered into had offices and gallery spaces opening off them. I suspect I may not have been supposed to be there – most visitors come for the murals rather than the rest of the building it seems. But the tinkling fountains were too much to resist. It must be a lovely environment to work in.

Hospicio Cabanas, Guadalajara

Hospicio Cabanas, Guadalajara

The Lego model is of the entrance facade although I do not have enough bricks to build its full width (which in any case is hidden behind the modern buildings on either side in this photo). The square outside was being set up for a festival a couple of days later hence the rather obstructed view.

Hospicio Cabanas, Guadalajara

Hospicio Cabanas, GuadalajaraLego Hospicio Cabanas, Guadalajara

and in Lego:

Lego Hospicio Cabanas, Guadalajara

Lego Hospicio Cabanas, Guadalajara

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