Explore Hidalgo Square in Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas

While exploring the Plaza Hidalgo in Ciudad Victoria, you will come across a variety of architectural styles, some of which include art deco, colonial, gothic, modernist, neoclassical, Porfirian, and rococo.

Explore Hidalgo Square in Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas
The kiosk in the Plaza Hidalgo in Ciudad Victoria and in front of it, the post office. Credit: Turismo Tamaulipas / Fernando Olivera Rocha: IG/fruvalcaba

Throughout its history, the ancient Plaza de Armas, now known as Hidalgo, has had several distinguishing centers; among them, its kiosks, the last of which is awaiting eternal life, stand out. Its grounds were ornamented for over a century with rich, wild Indian laurels, where nesting squirrels and magpies were found; these latter birds inspired poems and even the name of a diner.

They added color to the never-ending twilight with their noise. The watchmen ignited a large street lamp with four inside lamps on a pole in the middle of the plaza each afternoon in evening hour. A straightforward Porfirian kiosk with an octagonal pedestal, cast iron balustrades, and a Moorish tin dome then appeared in 1893.

The kiosk was replaced by a more fitting colonial-style structure covered in Talavera tiles in 1948 as the city expanded, based on the design of newly arrived architect Enrique León de la Barra Santacilia. After the present Juarez Theater was built, the kiosk was taken down and replaced about 1957 with a straightforward mosaic fountain.

The bronze monument of Don José Bernardo Maximiliano Gutiérrez de Lara, the first Mexican ambassador, and the first governor of the independent state of Tamaulipas, was later erected there in 1974. The city, which had been built and rebuilt several times, yearned for its kiosk, which would restore the romance and character of a provincial city with origins while still being contemporary. In 1992, the kiosk was given back to the city by the capital's municipal council.

Neoclassical style and octagonal shape have on its plinth eight pairs of columns coupled with Corinthian capitals, supporting eight arches, whose cornices are jagged with acanthus leaves, as a modillion. A wrought iron handrail in rust green, which gives access on the east side to a staircase, allows the music band, active since 1896, to continue serenading the peaceful nights of Ciudad Victoria.