History Recommendations

De la Joya Street, a story of shared love

By Todito Centro

When we walk through the Centro Historico, between the hustle and bustle, street vendors and all that folklore, that without it the city would not be the same, we lose sight of the most elementary, which gave us identity as a nation and this is the story of our streets, why there are names of streets such as de la Machincuepa ,de las Ratas, las Lecheras, de los Parados, de la Palma, de la Penitenciaría o el callejón Sal Si Puedes, These names we owe them to their recognized inhabitants sometimes to some important event happened there or simply to the convents.
 On this occasion we will try to unravel the reason for Calle de la Joya, we will reach it through the street 5 de Febrero, she will be our driving thread to arrive at the history that awaits us there.
 We start from the City Hall Palace, which today houses the CDMX government offices. From its right side begins a street that apparently does not tell us much with its name, it is the 5 de Febrero street. Although this date does not seem transcendental, it is of the utmost importance for our country, since that day, but from 1917, our Magna Carta, the Constitution of 1917 (yes, that of the subway station) that until today in day governs us.
 This street of 5 de Febrero is made up of 5 blocks which are very versatile, as we travel through it, in the first block called First Street of 5 de Febrero, we find what at some point in this city would mark the trends of clothing. We talked about department stores such as El Nuevo Mundo and the first store that would break up with the schemes of poorly smoked dependents according to the chronicles and that would place the image of the seller on commission to have greater and better attention. We refer to the oldest department store in Mexico, the Palacio de Hierro, created in 1891 and opened by Porfirio Diaz, the same business that initially sold clothes in the drawers of the Portal de las Flores (Zócalo). These stores were the Perisur, Antara Square or the Santa Fe Shopping Center of our day.
 For the Second Street of 5 de Febrero, the street item is not changed much, since we find the old building of the Puerto de Veracruz, where the great and eloquent poet Gutiérrez Nájera worked, when he was a child. In front of the port building, we find a portentous and majestic building covered in white marble, whose upper part was topped by a colossal dome decorated with mosaic and elaborated by the engineer Miguel Ángel de Quevedo (yes, once again, that of the line of the subway) that originally was contemplated to house a store called Fábricas Universales.
 Already entered the Third Street of 5 de Febrero, fashion changes for health. We began to find pharmacies, which at some point in the colonial era and even in independent Mexico housed the famous apothecaries. The sale of these products at this height of the street is not fortuitous, it is due to its proximity to the Hospital de Jesús el Nazareno, which was the first hospital in all of America and commanded to be created in 1524 by Hernán Cortez Monroy Pizarro de Altamirano, In fact, it is the place where the remains of the conqueror rest today.
 Finally arriving at the Fourth Street of 5 de Febrero; at its junction with Calle Mesones, we find a building very colonial style, which carries a plaque that shows and tells us that this section was formerly known as the street La Joya. According to the vox populi of the twentieth century, which this street will be called in that way, it is due to a love of three. The legend tells us that here the story of jealousy of a wealthy merchant from New Spain named Alonso Fernández de Bobadilla took place, who was Mrs. Isabel’s husband who was such a beautiful woman that men constantly courted her. One day an anonymous appeared in the window of Don Alonso’s studio, which had written that his wife was being unfaithful and that he had affairs outside of marriage. That same day when he arrives at his house he tells his wife that he has to leave, that the viceroy is looking for him to deal with some issues with him, when he leaves his abode he disguises himself with a cape and a hat, he waits outside his anxious house To see who comes to her. Soon after, the town hall prosecutor shows up at the house; Raúl de Lara, but not attending alone, but with a great and beautiful present, was a bracelet with several jewels. Suddenly, Don Alonso arrives, mad with jealousy and watching the scene of the procession, throws himself on this love affair and stabs them, takes the dagger and the jewel again, with bloody hands he goes to the street and right in his gate he nails the dagger holding the jewel to demonstrate how to defend honor.
 Although this story seems taken from a book by Shakespeare, Vicente Riva Palacio wrote it in 1882 in the newspaper La República and today we can find it in a book called “Tradiciones y Leyendas Mexicanas” by Riva Palacio and Juan de Dios Peza. Unfortunately this is only a legend which was left in our collective imaginary to give it that romanticism that we love, since José María Marroquí, in his book Mexico City (volume III), tells us that after investigating several documents of cabildos, from where the name of that street originated, he did not obtain information which justified this name, when he reads in the newspaper of La Republica the text of Riva Palacio, he will visit him immediately to ask him how it was that he obtained those data, which he had been playing from house to house to gather information from those who lived on that street and nobody knew how to give it a reason, to which Riva Palacios answered these precise words “Do not believe, everything is imagination”.

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