Santa María la Ribera’s Moorish Kiosk

A beautiful anomaly in the Santa María la Ribera, Mexico City. the Kiosco Morisco is a masterpiece of elaborately detailed and richly coloured design that seems somewhat at odds with the leafy green, and highly Mexican in its look and feel, Alameda in which it’s located.

Santa María la Ribera’s Kiosco Morisco is easily one of Mexico City’s most underrated yet impressive attractions, and it has a fascinating and murky history to boot, filled with rumours of Chinese connections and beautifully elaborate Moorish influence.

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Constructed entirely from steel, the Kiosco Morisco is most well-known for the gorgeously elaborate, Islamic-inspired geometric patterns that curl around the 44 external and eight internal pillars, as well as the ceiling and roof, which are topped by the dainty glass dome and bronze eagle. In fact, it is this detailing, along with the distinctive octagonal form of the kiosk, which has led many to believe it has astrological and magical significance. However, that’s not the strangest rumour the Kiosco Morisco has sparked, with many believing it was a gift from an Arab Sheikh or the idea that it was Chinese in origin.

Nowadays, this spot has become a major meeting point for residents of and visitors to the neighbourhood, who congregate there to practice open-air dance classes, tai chi lessons and even to watch musical performances. From bumped-about outcast to symbol of a colonia, the Kiosco Morisco is the unexpected underdog of Mexico City’s underrated attractions that you can’t afford to miss.

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