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Biblioteca Octavio Paz

Discover an enormous collection of books, admire the remarkable mural and explore the rich history of this 16th-century neoclassical building.

The Biblioteca Iberoamericana (Octavio Paz) is an important library in the heart of Guadalajara’s historic center. It contains books from all over the world on various subjects and is home to an impressive mural by a famous local artist.

Sit in the library’s forecourt by the fountain and gaze up at the remarkable building, which is now part of the University of Guadalajara. The building was originally a chapel, built in 1665. Observe the striking neoclassical façade with thick columns holding up an elaborate pyramidal pediment. The façade was added in the early 1800s.   

Inside the library, admire the impressive mural by renowned artist David Alfaro Siqueiros and local painter Amado de la Cueva. See if you can identify the themes of work and rebellion in the intricate fresco, which depicts a war erupting between peasants and factory workers. Painted in 1925, the work was heavily influenced by the Mexican Revolution in 1910.

Browse the eclectic range of books, which largely comprises works by Latin American and Spanish scholars. In 1991, the library’s collection consisted of 7,000 volumes and since then, it has more than tripled in size. The library works closely with the University of Guadalajara and supports a number of its researchers, teachers and students. The library takes its full name from the illustrious Mexican poet Octavio Paz, who won the Nobel Prize in 1990 for his contribution to literature.  

You can also see touring exhibitions and installations and in July, children can take part in writing workshops. Visit the library’s official website for details of exhibitions and courses.

The library opens early in the morning until late in the evening from Monday to Saturday. Entry is free. The Biblioteca Iberoamericana is close to several attractions in the historic region, including the Guadalajara Cathedral and the Plaza de Armas. The library is easy to reach by tram and the closest stop, Plaza Universidad, is only a short walk away. 


Guide to Exploring around Biblioteca Octavio Paz


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