La Mona in Tijuana is a five-story house shaped like a naked woman

The Man Who Lives in a Giant Naked Woman

The Man Who Lives in a Giant Naked Woman

Atlas Obscura
Your Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders
May 9 2014 8:47 AM

The Man Who Lives in a Giant Naked Woman


Atlas Obscura on Slate is a blog about the world's hidden wonders. Like us on Facebook, Tumblr, or follow us on Twitter @atlasobscura.

Ever look at your house in dismay and think, "Why aren't you a naked woman?" If so, a trip to Tijuana will show you what's possible if you dare to dream.

In 1987, self-taught sculptor Armando Garcia approached government officials with a simple plan: to mark Tijuana's centennial by building a humongous naked woman in the middle of the city. To Garcia's dismay, they declined the generous offer.


Determined to bring his lofty plans to life, Garcia chose a spot in his own ramshackle neighborhood, Colonia Aeropuerto, and began building the woman he would eventually live inside. He missed the 1989 Tijuana centennial deadline, but stayed focused, sculpting the curves to mimic those of an ex-girlfriend.

By 1991, a voluptuous concrete woman towered five stories over the airport-adjacent ravine where Garcia lived. He named her "Tijuana III Millennium," but locals soon began referring to the lady-house as "La Mona," or "the doll."

For several years, Garcia lived inside the hollow woman with his wife. Their bedroom was located in La Mona's breasts, the study in her head, the kitchen in her belly, and the bathroom, appropriately, in her behind.

Garcia's ambitions go beyond La Mona — one of his long-time goals is to line the US-Mexico border with, in his words, "giant, nude Amazons." That project is still in the conceptual stages. In the meantime, Garcia has moved into another self-built, woman-shaped house in Puerto Nuevo called La Sirena. In 2012 he opened a French restaurant inside her stomach.


Other strange statues:

View La Mona in a larger map

Ella Morton is a writer working on The Atlas Obscura, a book about global wonders, curiosities, and esoterica adapted from Atlas Obscura. Follow her on Twitter.