Back

National Center for the Arts

San Luis Potosí

One of San Luis Potosí's most beautiful buildings, which is also devoted to the fine arts, was once considered the most modern prison in Mexico.

The Centro Nacional de Artes (National Center for the Arts) occupies the space built in 1890, at the behest of Porfirio Díaz, to house Mexico's most dangerous inmates, as well as people who disagreed with 19th century ideals. Among its most noteworthy prisoners was Francisco I. Madero, who reportedly started developing El Plan de San Luis (the document that laid the foundation for democratic elections in the country) there.

Madero’s cell is kept intact and is open to the public. In addition to his dormitory, the panopticon-shaped central courtyard is another of its unique features, since this kind of architectural structure was designed specifically for prisons. It also boasts an exhibit featuring the penitentiary's original doors, as well as pictures.

In 2018, the National Center for the Arts inaugurated the first museum dedicated to Leonora Carrington’s work. Visitors can spend the day admiring the most important surrealist's sculptures, engravings, paints, and personal objects.

The museum also houses Canela Tortuga Ecuestre, a cafeteria spearheaded by the chef Jorge Morales, a member of the Academy of French Cuisine. It holds surrealist dinners twice a month, serving dishes that pay homage to different surrealist artists.

The National Center for the Arts is located on the border the historical center, on the Guadalupe Road, which becomes Zaragoza Street (considered the largest thoroughfare in Mexico, at 2 kilometers (1.25 mi) in length).
One of San Luis Potosí's most beautiful buildings, which is also devoted to the fine arts, was once considered the most modern prison in Mexico.

Show more information


The Centro Nacional de Artes (National Center for the Arts) occupies the space built in 1890, at the behest of Porfirio Díaz, to house Mexico's most dangerous inmates, as well as people who disagreed with 19th century ideals. Among its most noteworthy prisoners was Francisco I. Madero, who reportedly started developing El Plan de San Luis (the document that laid the foundation for democratic elections in the country) there.

Madero’s cell is kept intact and is open to the public. In addition to his dormitory, the panopticon-shaped central courtyard is another of its unique features, since this kind of architectural structure was designed specifically for prisons. It also boasts an exhibit featuring the penitentiary's original doors, as well as pictures.

In 2018, the National Center for the Arts inaugurated the first museum dedicated to Leonora Carrington’s work. Visitors can spend the day admiring the most important surrealist's sculptures, engravings, paints, and personal objects.

The museum also houses Canela Tortuga Ecuestre, a cafeteria spearheaded by the chef Jorge Morales, a member of the Academy of French Cuisine. It holds surrealist dinners twice a month, serving dishes that pay homage to different surrealist artists.

Show less

Other activities and things to do
Book now!
Price range
Category
No hotels matched your search.
Price range
Category
No hotels matched your search.
Price range
Category
No hotels matched your search.
Price range
Category
No hotels matched your search.
Write a key word