La Rotonda de los Hombres Ilustres

The Rotonda of Illustrious Men

by Angie Galicia


In Mexico as in the rest of the world, there are women and men whose acts make them exceptional human beings, and they forever remain in the memory of society.  In order to honor them, in 1872, Sebastián Lerdo de Tejada, the president of Mexico at the time, created a special place in the Dolores cemetery of Mexico City to honor all the Mexicans who gave “prestige to the Nation.

 Ever since, other distinguished members of society have been added to this select circle.  Military men such as, Generals Juan Alvarez and Mariano Arista, both ex-presidents of Mexico, were added to the list.  Gabino Barreda, who introduced Augusto Comte’s idea of positivism to Mexico, and famous historian Francisco José Clavijero are also respected members of the circle.

 However, it is in the area of art, specifically in literature, where the Rotonda honors the most illustrious Mexicans.  Among them, to mention only a few, are Doctor Mariano Azuela, author of the novel Los de abajo; poet Rosario Castellanos; modernist Salvador Díaz Mirón; writer Alfonso Reyes; and Ramón López Velarde, author of La Suave Patria.

 In music, the composers of the Mexican National Anthem stand out –Jaime Nunó and Francisco González Bocanegra . Agustin Lara,  Juventino Rosas, composer of the famous waltz “Sobre las olas”;  Angela Peralta, the “Mexican Nightingale”; as well as Carlos Chávez and Manuel M. Ponce, 20th century composers, are all notable participants in the shaping of the Mexican culture.  Representing Mexican art in the Rotonda are the three great painters: Diego Rivera, José Clemente and David Alfaro Siquieros.  Also included is their predecessor, the grandfather of Mexican painters, Gerardo Murillo, or Dr. Atl, as they used to call him. 

 The Rotonda is a circular structure with a diameter that has been enlarged to make room for Mexico’s outstanding men and women.  Since its creation in 1872, there are around 100 people buried there, all of whose talent accompanied them to the grave. 

 Other states of Mexico have their own Rotondas de los Hombres Ilustres, where men and women of the particular state have accomplished greatness.

 Bellow is a list of the great people that have been buried in the Rotonda.

David Alfaro Siqueiros

Painter

Ignacio Manuel Altamirano

Writer,politician

Juan Alvarez

Revolutionary

Eligio Ancona

Historian, Philosopher

Agustín Aragón

Scientist, historian, politician

Mariano Arista

President, General, politician

Ponciano Arriaga

President

Manuel Azpiroz

Constitutionalist

Mariano Azuela

Writer

Joaquín Baranda

Educator, politician

Gabino Barreda

Pedagogue

Felipe Berriozábal

General

Calixto Bravo

Coronel

Emilio Carranza

Pilot

Nabor Carrillo

Scientist

Julián Carrillo

Composer

Alfonso Caso

Historian

Antonio Caso

Philosopher Rector of UNAM

Rosario Castellanos

Writer-Diplomat

Cesáreo Castro

General

José Ceballos

General

Francisco Javier Clavijero

Historian

Diódoro Corella

General

Carlos Chávez

Composer

Santos Degollado

Promoter of the Reform Laws

Juan José de la Garza

General,  jurist

Manuel de la Peña y Peña

President

Francisco Díaz Covarrubias

Astronomer, diplomat

Salvador Díaz Mirón

Poet

Mariano Escobedo

General

Genaro Estrada

Journalist,politician

Virginia Fábregas

Actress

Ricardo Flores Magón

Revolutionary activist

Valentín Gómez Farías

President

Manuel M González

President, Defender of Mexico

Francisco González Bocanegra

Author of Mexico’s National Anthem

Ignacio González Guzmán

Scientist

Enrique González Martínez

Poet, diplomat

Jesús González Ortega

 

Donato Guerra

General, governor

Guillermo Haro Barraza

Astronomer

Agustín Lara

Composer

Sebastián Lerdo de Tejada

President, lawyer, author of the Reform Laws

Pedro Letechipia

Coronel

Vicente Lombardo Toledano

Union workers leader

Ramón López Velarde

Poet

José María Mata

 

Juan A. Mateos

Writer

Ignacio Mejía

General

Juan N. Méndez

President, governor

José Vicente Miñón

 

Francisco Martínez de la Vega

Journalist

Francisco Montes de Oca

Military man

José María Luis Mora

Political writer, ideologue

Gerardo Murillo (Dr. Atl)

Painter

Miguel Negrete

General

Amado Nervo

Poet

Jaime Nunó

Author of music of Mexico’s National Anthem

Melchor Ocampo

Promoter of the Reform Laws

Isaac Ochoterana

Scientist, biologist

Pedro Ogazón Rubio

 

Juan O´Gorman

Painter

José Clemente Orozco

Painter

Manuel Othón

Poet

Carlos Pacheco

General

Carlos Pellicer

Poet

Angela Peralta

Opera Singer

Basilio Pérez Gallardo

Constitionalist, writer, politician

Manuel M. Ponce

Composer

Guillermo Prieto

Politician Promulgated the Reform laws.

Ignacio Ramírez (El Nigromante)

Writer

Rafael Ramírez

Teacher founder of the Mexican Rural Schools

Carlos Ramírez Ulloa

Engineer

Miguel Ramos Arizpe

Defender of Federalism

Silvestre Revueltas

Composer

Alfonso Reyes

Writer, poet

Vicente Riva Palacio

Regent of Mexico

Diego Rivera

Painter

Sóstenes Rocha

Military man, writer

Antonio Rosales

Military man

Juventino Rosas

Composer

Arturo Rosenbluth

Cybernetics pioneer

Carlos Rovirosa

Pilot

Miguel Ruelas

Diplomat

Moisés Sáenz

Pedagogue, defender of Indian’s rights.

Pedro Sainz de Baranda y Barreiro

Captain

Rosendo Salazar

Labor movement syndicalist

Manuel Sandoval Vallarta

Physicist

Francisco Sarabia

Pilot

Pablo Sidar

 

Justo Sierra Méndez

Teacher, historian, politician

Jesús Silva Herzog

Historian, economist, politician

José Juan Tablada

Poet, journalist

Jaime Torres Bodet

Educator, writer, poet

Gregorio Torres Quintero

Educator

Luis G. Urbina

Poet

Francisco L. Urquizo Benavides

Military man, historian, writer

Jesús Urueta

Congressman

Basilio Vadillo

Educator, politician, diplomat

Ignacio L. Vallarta

Governor, Supreme Court president

Leandro Valle

Military man

Felipe Villanueva 

Composer

Agustín Yáñez

Writer, politician, writer

 

 

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