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Glorieta de la Palma

The famous Glorieta de la Palma is actually called Glorieta del Ahuehuete.

Glorieta de la Palma (“Palm Roundabout”) is a roundabout in Mexico City on the Paseo de la Reforma. This natural monument that was embellished is one of the most representative avenues in the city for years.

The “Glorieta de la Palma” (“The Palm Roundabout”) owed its name to the tall palm tree that was found in the middle and is the only roundabout along the Paseo de Reforma that has never had a monument.

In 1910, the Angel of Independence was built and, according to one of the versions, this roundabout was reserved for the construction of another monument in honor of the anniversary of Independence in 2010.

A reserved roundabout

Paseo de la Reforma was built by the order of Maximiliano (archduke who ruled as Emperor Maximilian I of Mexico) in the mid-19th century. It was named “Paseo de la Emperatriz”, in honor of his wife, Carlota.

The avenue served as a direct path to the Imperial Palace (National Palace) from Chapultepec Castle (home of the Emperor). At the same time, beautiful ridges and European-style gardens were built to adorn the road.

Between 1872 and 1876, four roundabouts with endemic flowers were added.

Then, at the time of Porfiriato, trees were planted along the avenue. Also, the sidewalks and ridges were embellished, lighting was placed, and several roundabouts in which there would be different monuments.

First, a roundabout was built to house a statue of the former King of Spain, Carlos IV, which later became known as El Caballito, right where the intersection of Avenida Juárez, Bucareli, and Reform streets now stands.

There is no longer a roundabout, and El Caballito is located in the National Museum of Art.

Not far away, another roundabout was built.

According to some versions, it would be dedicated to a monument in honor of Miguel Hidalgo, together with the Independence Monument – the “Angel” – which would commemorate the first anniversary of Independence in 1910.

A palm tree was planted there so that the roundabout would look so alone.

The Palm Roundabout in 20th century

During the celebration of the centenary of Independence in 1910, only the current column of the “Angel” was built and, according to other versions, the roundabout where the palm tree was located would be reserved.

The reserve roundabout was for a monument to commemorate the next Independence anniversary. But with the Revolution, all plans changed, and Mexico City began to overgrow, especially in the mid-20th century.

The Paseo de la Reforma had several changes, such as its expansion.

In the late 1970s, eliminated the roundabout that was about the entrance of the Chapultepec forest, in which years before they had placed the Diana Huntress, to change it to a place where no one saw it, so, a decade later, they returned it to the roundabout where it is currently.

But the palm was not moved. For over 100 years, no one remembered that the palm was a place reserved for a monument. The palm stood there for more than 100 years. The first photo with the palm dates from 1920.

Passersby did not even notice the presence of the palm tree. And when the question arose about building a monument for the 200th anniversary of Independence, no one thought about placing it in the reserved place.

Although the palm was already a part of Mexico City, it has had its detractors throughout history, such as those who criticized that it was not a native tree and that the prickly pear cactus should be planted there instead.

Glorieta del Ahuehuete – The Ahuehuete Roundabout

On April 24, 2022, the iconic palm of more than 100 years was removed due to sickness from various fungi and bacteria.

Public voting began on Monday, April 25, to select a new tree to replace the palm. Voting lasted 6 days. After the voting ended, it was announced that the new tree would be Ahuehuete, with 77,485 people voting for it.

Glorieta de Ahuehuete, Paseo de la Reforma

Ahuehuete, Mexico’s national tree, is also known as Montezuma Cypress.

Glorieta de los Desaparecidos

Since the palm was removed, the roundabout became an organizing point for relatives of missing people who demanded the location of their loved ones and requested to change its name to Roundabout of the Disappeared.

Glorieta del Ahuehuete – The Ahuehuete Roundabout

On June 5th at 12:30 in the morning, the Ahuehuete tree was planted.

However, the Ahuehuete tree failed to adapt to the conditions of Paseo de la Reforma. After remaining less than a year, the Ahuehuete failed to adapt. The ahuehuete tree was removed early on 11.03.2023 morning.

The second Ahuehuete

Two months later, another Ahuehuete was planted to replace the first one. The second Ahuehuete faced challenges, intentional damage with cement placed at its base and a heatwave, affecting its growth and adaptation.

Experts are closely monitoring the development of the second Ahuehuete tree, noting that it is growing slowly and has difficulty adapting. The tree is expected to take longer to recover and adapt to its new environment.

How is the Ahuehuete tree today?

The tree is in good health condition. Monitoring and surveillance work continues.

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