The square of the scribes

TOP EXPERIENCES · History, Traditional
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The latest in a long tradition of scribes are waiting to write that letter request. Noon in the Portales de Santo Domingo, sitting at his typewriter, a man with a graying mustache attends to the woman while he writes the dictation. Sometimes he stops and asks a question. He rereads. He is one of the few scribes who will equally draft a letter to the extended family or a letter to a loved one or an application to any official body.

There is an ebb and flow of people between the tables of the scribes and old wooden houses, each with its own name: El Bolo Elegante, Hilda, La Económica, Carmelo; all offering a myriad of cards for all occasions, wedding invitations, 15th birthday celebrations, baptisms and communions. The citizen has an appointment in Santo Domingo on every special occasion in life.

The bustle of the portals contrasts with the stillness of the great square, presided over by the Santo Domingo Temple, and flanked by the former Inquisition Palace and the Customs Palace. In one corner there is a line to buy quesadillas, in another parishioners kill hunger with corn. Some things do not change.

You can take pictures in doorways but always remember to be respectful of people you want to photograph. Ask first.

The old Palacio de la Inquisición (Inquisition Palace) now houses the Museo de Medicina and a small exhibition of instruments of torture. If you want to know more about this topic, go to the Torture and Capital Punishment Museum on Tacuba Street.

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live it

in the morning or in the evening


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Santo Domingo 12-4, Centro Histórico de la Ciudad de México. 06010

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