A Visit to the Parthenon de Zihuatanejo

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The Parthenon from the pool

For anyone who has ridden the water taxi to Playa Las Gatas, you  could not help but notice the the large Greek looking building  high above above Playa La Ropa, nicknamed “The Parthenon”. I’ve always heard that if you tip the security guard you could gain entrance and see where the rich, famous and infamous used to come and play. This edifice to excess was once the seaside retreat of a very corrupt Mexico City Chief of Police, who while in office only 6 years managed through many nefarious activities to amass such a fortune that he needed to invest and spend it somewhere. Of course he was eventually caught and imprisoned where I believe he died.

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Entrance gate from inside

I hiked up there from El Centro on Saturday and was told manana.  I tried again today, this time with success. The security personnel turned out to be a young man with his wife and children allowing people entrance for 50 pesos. Well worth the admission price. And well worth the all up hill hike.

As you enter through the enormous gates your attention is directed  to a cage where a lion used to reside.  If I spoke Spanish I sure the young man would have given me a personal tour and maybe more of the history, but I was quite content on my own to prowl.  The statues and pillars of the inside court yard are tumbled and in ruins, but it doesn’t take much of an imagination to realize what a beauty it once must have been.

You enter the building into  a large vestibule with 3 statues in arches that are still in fair

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Vestible

condition on one side and wall paintings on the other side, straight ahead is a  tall fountain falling into a small square pool and beyond it is the most  breath taking view of Zihuatanejo Bay, the entire front of the first floor is open to the bay with gentle breezes cooling the air. The floors are all polished marble. There is

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As you enter

only one of the two long wide marble dinning tables remaining where guest would wine and dine.   There is  narrower one for serving or drinks  You can see where a bar would have been  with painting behind it and a mirror.

 

 

 

 

 

Upstairs there is a balcony hallway off which are 5 large bedrooms, each with a private bath, huge well designed closets and mirrors and paintings  on all the walls.  Even mirrored  ceilings. All would had the same breath taking view of the bay with probably shutters instead of windows. Sadly everything is in deplorable condition.The wood work through out was ornate, large wall mural paintings on many of the walls are all indication of former grandeur, but in very sad condition.   I’m amazed that before it fell into such ruins that it wasn’t taken over to be a museum, art gallery or some sort of tourist site to the benefit Zihuatanejo. There probably is a story here somewhere

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Pool Gazebo

Wide steps lead down to the large pool area with a gazebo of sorts that I’m sure also served as a bar. Here are more statues and a few plants remain, but at one time I’m sure the grounds were quite elegant. There were steps to a basement, that probably had a wine cellar and an outside entrance/exit from the basement to the pool area. Quite possible used mostly by servants. A fascinating glimpse into what was once the world of luxury. Signing off KO

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The View

 

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Author: zihuathyme

I'm a traveler, not as frequently as I would like as I'm semi retired. I prefer that phrase to working part time. I would travel to new places, my husband Doyle, not as adventurous as I is more comfortable with the tried and true. Thus we have fallen into a routine (not a rut) of going to Zihuatanejo for 3 months January and February, March. Pendleton Oregon for the Round Up. Plus numerous short trips. We are "RVers". For hobbies I make and sell stone & shell bird houses, garden and read my new kindle. I'm a Wedding Officiant and officiate at about 40 weddings a year, and also operate a small delivery service. Prior to my "semi retirement" I was in corrections and before that I owned and operated a bail bond agency, In 2016 My husband began chemo for Chronic lymphoma Leukemia, while doing well this has changed some of our travel habits. Relaxing in Mexico suits him well, for that I am thankful. KO

5 thoughts on “A Visit to the Parthenon de Zihuatanejo”

  1. So when was it built, and when was it abandoned? And yes, there must be a story there somewhere.  Like someone wanted some payola, but the controller, government or whatever would not pay. Same thing happens here, a foreclosure or death, and the bank or the family just lets it fall into disrepair. I know a guy that buys and rehabs mobile homes. He just got one that the family has been paying lot rent for 16 YEARS.  And they gave it to him for free. Lot rent alone would be nice to keep….

    b

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    From: Zihuathyme To: bradwhataguy@yahoo.com Sent: Sunday, March 19, 2017 9:09 PM Subject: [New post] A Visit to the Parthenon de Zihuatanejo #yiv2999800641 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv2999800641 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv2999800641 a.yiv2999800641primaryactionlink:link, #yiv2999800641 a.yiv2999800641primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv2999800641 a.yiv2999800641primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv2999800641 a.yiv2999800641primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv2999800641 WordPress.com | zihuathyme posted: “For anyone who has ridden the water taxi to Playa Las Gatas, you  could not help but notice the the large Greek looking building  high above above Playa La Ropa, nicknamed “The Parthenon”. I’ve always heard that if you tip the security guard you could g” | |

    1. Just picked up on your message, sorry to be so slow. It was built and utilized during the time period of 1972-1986 when he was a very corrupt Police Cheif, gang boss and drug lord. I saw a photo of a dinner party there in it’s heyday, with the crystal chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, lots of crystal sparkling on the table and reflecting off all the marble. It absolutely sparked like a jewel

  2. We’ll be there next week(Sat.) and plan to go there also.
    Is the up hill “path” easy to find off the main road? I know the general area, but not exactly sure…….

    1. It’s a gravel road right beside the new military barracks across the road from Solventos You will have no problem finding the road. I have no idea as to what days there is someone there to let you in. I went on a Saturday first and the military folks at the back of their building told me “no hoy, manana a las nueve” and they were right. You will be impressed by what it once was and sadden by how it has been allowed to deteriorate but well worth the effort to visit it.

  3. My husband Ken and I really enjoyed meeting you last night (hope we didn’t interrupt your dinner TOO much). We also were able to tour the “Parthenon” about a week ago. Your pictures/descriptions were great. It is very sad it is deteriorating. I need to look online to see if there are pictures during its heyday! Safe trip home–we leave tomorrow. Must . come . back!

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