Cabeza de Juárez – Mexico City, Mexico - Atlas Obscura

Cabeza de Juárez

This giant expressionist head crowns a museum devoted to a beloved Mexican leader. 


Designed in a purposefully illustrative style, and considered by many locals to be quite the eyesore, the Cabeza de Juárez (Head of Juárez) is an over-sized tribute to one of Mexico’s most beloved presidents. 

Built in the mid-70’s, the museum and its iconic head were constructed to reflect the angular, graphic style of many Mexican painters. The square arch that the head rests upon stands stands 40 feet tall and holds the museum itself and is completely covered by a colorful mural. The murals both inside and outside the colossal monument tell the story of the life of Benito Juárez who served as the president of Mexico from 1857-1872. A spiral staircase takes one up inside the head to a permanent exhibition that includes paintings by Tamayo, Rivera, and Siqueiros, several flags, as well as a timeline depicting events in Mexico during Juárez’s life.

The six-ton giant head atop the museum is built from rods and wires that are covered in metal sheets that have aged over time to look almost wooden. The Juárez head is the center of tourism in the area although many of the locals think it is simply an ugly giant head. 

Know Before You Go

Take metro to Guelatao. From Guelatao stop, it's easy to find on foot. This is in the Iztapalapa district of Mexico City.

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