-Cultural Institute of Durango, in the later 19th century, the government of Porfirio Díaz (1876 – 1911) envisioned the construction of a series of French styled buildings, which would be devoted as hospital premises. But the presidential crisis at first and the outburst of the Mexican Revolution then, prevented the fulfilling of the works due to the lack of budget.
In Durango, the unfinished building first became as infantry and cavalry headquarters until 1916, when its precincts were turned into the classrooms of a school. Lately, in 1938, the State transformed it into an institution for foster children from impoverished families.
During the ruling period of Maximiliano Silerio Esparza, the monumental premises became the Durango Cultural Compound, and since May 6th of 1999, into the Instituto de Cultura del Estado de Durango, a denomination that is still maintained.
The architectonical compound is arranged by 19 edifices, 16 of which are part of the original project. The rest of them were constructed during the 20th century. Its total extension measures 62 thousand square metres, with a built area of 8.770 square metres.
The Instituto Cultural del Estado de Durango was declared as a Historical Monument by the Instituto de Antropología e Historia in the year of 1982. It is situated in 130 of the 16 de Setiembre Avenue, Colonia Silvestre Dorador.
-Teatro Ricardo Castro – Theatre, by the late decade of the eighties, the governor of Durango promulgated a most peculiar decree: The State will adjudicate a parcel to whoever willing to assume the compromise of building a theatre on it. And although the project took some time to get accomplished, the measure proved to be successful, for on November the 12th of 1900, the first stone of the construction was placed.
Regretfully, the budget was not enough to get the project fulfilled, hence the government assumed the compromise of continuing with the task, but, as it often happens, the promises of the authorities were quickly set aside and if not for the financial support of the common citizen, the theatre would most probably had remained partially concluded.
But beyond all of the burocratic deceitfulness, the point that really matters is the impressive beauty of the Theatre, with its façade of carved quarry stone and neoclassical style, standing out the profusely decorated balconies and a medallion with the figure of Frederich Chopin on the central window. On general grounds, its ornamentation has an overly French style, which was indeed very popular on those times.
On the day of June 24th in the year of 1951, a fire produced a great damage to the building, only remaining erect its outer walls. The refurbishing was supported by the Sociedad Duranguense. Nowadays, the Theatre has an afore of one thousand localities and nine boxes. Its interior shows some large mural paintings with allegories of the first days of the City and the exploitation of the Mercado Mountain.
The hall bears the name of the composer of Durango Ricardo Castro, one of the most notable musicians of Mexico. In appreciation for his work, a statue in his honour was erected at the front yard of this architectonic beauty, located at the 20 de Noviembre Avenue (no number).
The Ricardo Castro Theatre can be visited every day between 10:00 am and 7:00 pm, with the only exception of those times when an art event is taking place in its facilities.
-Teatro Victoria, was inaugurated on February of 1800 to commemorate the Independence centennial jubilee. It was named Victoria to honour the first president of Mexico, the citizen of Durango Guadalupe Victoria.
Its neoclassical façade was remodelled during the early 20th century. It is actually being used as a cultural centre. It is situated at 332 Bruno Martínez Street, besides the Government Palace. It can be visited daily between 10:00 am and 7:00 pm.
-Open Air Theatre El Calvario, was done in a Greek style and its semi-circular forum has 15 metres at its front and 7 metres deep. Surrounded by green areas, it is a good option for entertainment as well as for having a panoramic sight of Durango, for this cultural site is located at the heights of the Calvario Mountain.
-House of the Súchil Count, is most beautiful colonial building with a civilian use in all Durango, and most probably, in all the northern territories of Mexico. Constructed during the second half of the 18th century, its façade shows quarry stone pilasters, toppled by two big pinnacles on its upper cornice, while in its inner part it contains many rococo styled adornments in high relief, a clear expression of the wealth of the owner and of the economic prosperity of the State.
Among its many delightful architectonical details, detaches the usage of reversed pyramids in plaster (estípites) in the second level and the pilasters that frame the doors of the first floor. From an artistic point of view, stands out a quarry stone image of Saint Joseph with the Child in his arms, the patron saint of the original owner of the house, the Count of the Súchil Valley.
During the 19th century the edifice was used for commercial purposes, being then known as the ‘Casa Cadena’. In the year of 1988 the old mansion was refurbished. In the present days it is the seat of a bank.
It is located at the South-western corner of the 5 de Febrero and F.I. Madero Streets.
-Museo Regional de Durango, in its 14 halls are exhibited invaluable archaeological and anthropological treasures of the northern cultures of Mexico, along with an important collection of religious objects from colonial times. Among the objects of the exposition, stands out a mural on canvas depicting the life and deeds of Francisco “Pancho” Villa, who was perhaps the most famous of all the sons of Durango.
Additionally, the Museum has a hall for temporary exhibitions, an interesting and well varied collection of paintings and a storehouse for cultural goods, in which are contained archaeological objects, canvasses and photographs, as important testimonies of the art and history of Durango.
The premises of the museum are located in the so called ‘Edificio del Aguacate’ or the ‘Avocado Building’, designed by the rules of the palaces of Paris. Constructed in 1896, it is also one of the handsomest of all the Historical Centre, for its Versailles styled stone carvings and a monumental wood door done by the carpenters of the City, still carrying its original crystals.
It is situated at the intersection of the Victoria and Aquiles Serdán Streets. The visits can be done from Tuesday to Sunday between 9:00 am and 1:00 pm and between 4:00 and 5:00 pm.