The Localist

Mexican Roundabouts

If Chicago is known as the city of wind, and Auckland as the city of sails, then Guadalajara could easily be known as the city of roundabouts. And speed bumps – but trust me, these are nowhere near as interesting as the roundabouts.

Don’t understand a roundabout in Mexico. It is even possible that I had my very first encounter with art on Mexico’s roundabouts, as most of them are adorned with sculptures. Some of my early childhood memories involve driving past the iconic roundabout known as the “Glorieta Minerva” in Guadalajara and staring into the eyes of the Roman goddess. Even on my first visit to Mexico City as a kid one of my freshest memories is us driving past the Angel of Independence located on a roundabout on Paseo de la Reforma in downtown Mexico city.

Another iconic roundabout in Guadalajara came into my life when I was a little older. It’s popularly known as the “Glorieta de los Caballos”, or simply “the horse roundabout”, as it features a massive sculpture of wild horses running called The Stampede (pictured above).

I immediately fell in love with this roundabout.

It might have been because I first noticed this roundabout at an age when I was developing my taste and aesthetic. The way the horses were sculpted, combined with the techniques used, were really different and refreshing to me. They represented the world of art deco and classical sculptures. Perhaps the appeal of this roundabout during my high school years also reflected the fact that, like many teenagers, I felt trapped in a world of structure and protocol with no way out. This sculpture in a way made me feel free. I wanted to be one of the horses running wild on that hill.

In retrospect I look at those art deco and classical sculptures in roundabouts such as “Glorieta Ninos Heroes” and I fall in love again, not only with the beauty of their design, but also with their historical significance for all Mexicans.





3 Responses to Mexican Roundabouts

  1. […] The USA may have a young relationship with roundabout but next door in Mexico, their love is deeper and comes across in its bountiful roundabout art. This one is known as ‘the horse roundabout’ and is in Guadalajara, west-central Mexico. Because if you’re going to do roundabout art, you might as well do it in style! Learn more about it at […]


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