(solo en casos de fallecimiento, accidente o extravío de documentos de los ciudadanos rusos)
Many years ago, the part of Mexico City where the Embassy of Russia is located today did not belong to the capital of the country; it was called the village of Tacubaya. The air there from the abundant vegetation was fresh and clean, the nature was picturesque and harmonious. This allowed contemporaries to call the place “one of the most beautiful corners of the world”. In the 18–19th centuries, the nobles of Mexico City used to settle their hacienda residences in Tacubaya, not stinting the most luxurious home decor, exquisite decoration of gardens and parks. Among others, the Barron, Escandon and Santa Catarina del Arenal haciendas stood out.
Hacienda Santa Catarina del Arenal, perhaps inferior in splendour to many of the residences surrounding it, had a more ancient history. It was built in 1610 by Juan Hernandez Mellado, in 1646 it was sold to the family of Theresa Caral de Airolo, and in 1704 the family put it up for auction. The Hacienda was acquired by one of the wealthiest persons of that time, the Count de Miravalle, as a gift for his beloved wife. Thanks to this bounty, the estate received a second name: Hacienda of the Countess, or Condesa.
The heyday of the Hacienda Santa Catarina del Arenal falls on the lifetime of the third holder of the title of Countess de Miravalle, Maria Magdalena Davalos de Bracamontes y Orozco. The Countess was born in Mexico City in 1701. In addition to her beautiful appearance and good education, the woman had a literary, poetic gift. She won numerous literary contests. Countess Maria Magdalena was reputed to be one of the most “glamorous ladies” at the Viceroyal court. After her death, the name of Condesa was assigned to the estate; one of the squares near Hacienda was named after the woman.
In 1816, the Hacienda of the Countess was leased for 6 years to Mexico’s Minister of the Army and Finance, Antonio Batres. In 1827, the estate was sold to the wife of Antonio Batres, Josefa Arturo de Batres, and after her death in 1841, to the brothers Estanislao and Joaquin Flores. In 1873, Hacienda was bought by the head of the family, who became the last private owner of the estate, a large landlord Vicente Escandon. After his death, the vast territories he owned were divided among the heirs; the house and its adjacent plots went to the daughter of Vicente Escandon, Dolores Escandon y Arango de Rubin. Subsequently, in 1911, she presented them as a wedding gift to her daughter Dolores Rubin Escandon and her husband Jorge Gomez de Parada.
In 1911, a new milestone in the history of Hacienda Santa Catarina del Arenal began. Of course, her appearance changed over the centuries. The territory decreased manifold. The buildings were dilapidated and outdated; they no longer met the requirements of the time nor the needs of the new owners. Jorge Gomez de Parada, a trained architect who had been living in London for many years, decided to rebuild the house. The author of the new building project was Mauricio De Maria y Campos. He created a mansion in a style that is difficult to determine unambiguously, but with “huge English influence”.
The Gomez de Parada family did not last long to enjoy a quiet comfortable life in a beautiful new house in Mexico City. The social upheaval of the first half of the 20th century forced the family to move to Europe, taking from Mexico the most valuable items, including 30 magnificent thoroughbred horses.
For a while, the mansion stood locked, waiting for the owners to come back. However, instead of returning, in order to maintain the family budget, Gomez de Parada family was forced to lease the house to the Brazilian Embassy for 8 years. They returned only in 1931, and 11 years later they sold the splendid mansion to the Soviet Union. The Embassy of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and later the Embassy of the Russian Federation, was set up in a house on the avenue now bearing the name of Jose Vasconcelos, previously called Tacubaya Avenue.
Currently, the building is a popular subject of various urban myths. It is rumoured to be haunted by ghosts, a mystical halo is said to be seen inside The mansion on Jose Vasconcelos keeps secrets that still remain unsolved, giving it a special mystery and appeal.
Since 1942, the mansion built by Mauricio De Maria y Campos serves the interests of the Russian state. With dignity it houses the embassy of a great country. Exquisitely adorned rooms, a beautiful garden decorated with sculptures arouse admiration and forever remain in the memory of guests of the Russian Embassy in Mexico. But we, those who have the honour of working here for the good of our Motherland, love and take pride in this building.