125 Museos
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Centro comunitario
This sixteenth-century Augustinian monastery built in the Renaissance style boasts remarkable frescos, a collection of pre-Hispanic, viceregal, religious and everyday objects, as well as the remains of Latin America’s first paper mill.

Set in the heart of the Iztapalapa district, this Renaissance-style monastery is a veritable architectural jewel. The magnificent, two-story construction was built out of volcanic rock in 1562 as a the center for the Augustinian friars to carry out their evangelical work. It occupied a prime location on the western slopes of the Cerro de la Estrella (“Huizachtepetl” or “hill of the star”) and on the north shore of the Chalco-Xochimilco lake, on the site of Culhuacan, a pre-Hispanic settlement inhabited, according to archeological studies, between 600 and 800 AD.

The historic monument covers a total area of 2.6 acres and has corridors with frescos that reflect the skill of Culhuacan’s “tlacuilos” or painters; the images are largely well preserved and show scenes from the life of Christ, figures from the Augustinian and other religious orders, as well as episodes from the lives of some saints. The building continued to be used as a monastery until 1756, when the Spanish crown divested power from the religious orders. It was subsequently occupied as a parish church, as barracks for Emiliano Zapata’s troops, and as a local administrative center, among other uses. Later abandoned, it became seriously dilapidated until, in 1944, it was declared a historic monument and the National Institute of History and Anthropology (INAH) set about restoring it. A decision was taken in 1985 to turn it into a museum, with a collection including original objects from the pre-Hispanic and colonial periods.

The first four permanent exhibition galleries were opened to the public a decade later and focused on the former lake region of Culhuacan, its Toltec heritage, Mexica rule, the building’s importance as a religious center, and the early stages of the viceregal period.

Two cells on the upper cloisters (north corridor) were refurbished in 2003 in order to recreate how they looked when occupied by the Augustinians and to install a photographic exhibit documenting the different stages of the building’s restoration. The remains of Latin America’s first paper mill are located a short walk from the monument; this factory was built in order to remedy the paper shortages that delayed the printing of religious publications for the evangelization of the indigenous population.

Nearest metro station: Atlalilco

Centro comunitario
The former residence of the Viceroys—Bucareli and others were received here—José María Morelos was taken from here to be shot in 1815. It houses a rich collection of articles referring to the national hero. The upper floors are used for temporary exhibitions. Also on exhibition are some important mammoth bones.The museum occupies a building which dates from 1747. It was built by the Royal Consular Court for those officials who controlled the sluice gates of the San Cristóbal causeway/dike (or Albarradón) which ran for about two and a half miles across Lake Texcoco from the San Cristóbal Cathedral in Ecatepec to Venta de Carpio in the north of Mexico City. Since it was also the last rest house for viceroys before they arrived at the capital of New Spain from Veracruz, it was known as the House of the Viceroys too.

The Albarradón currently serves to continue the Morelos Road, and was part of the Mexico City-Laredo national highway and the former Mexico City-Pachuca highway. This construction and its surroundings, including the House of Morelos, were declared a Zone of Monuments in 2001.

Supreme Commander José María Morelos was brought to this house in secret (to prevent independence sympathizers from attempting to rescue him) on December 22, 1815. He was then shot and buried at the San Cristóbal parish church in Ecatepec, now Ecatepec de Morelos. A monument honoring this national hero was erected outside the house in 1864. After it became severely damaged, the current one was raised in 1912 and declared a historic monument in 1933.

The building opened its doors to the public as a community center in 1990, formally acquiring museum status in 1992. Its theme is the independence movement with a focus on Supreme Commander Morelos. As a community center, its spaces are available to citizens for such occasions as temporary exhibits, artistic and cultural activities, and academic events.

Continuación Vía Morelos, between Av. Revolución (30-30) and Primero de Mayo.

From Mexico City, take the Mexico-Pirámides highway and take a right at the first toll booth, to continue along Vía Morelos.

By public transport from the Indios Verdes metro station, take a bus for Ecatepec that runs along Vía Morelos.

Sitio histórico
Founded in 1540 by Augustinian friars, this convent contains extraordinary polychrome murals, its walls show examples of the romantic, Mudejar and Plateresque styles, as well as many indigenous contributions. Outstanding are three scenes of the life of Christ.Editar
An important Augustinian monastery preserving valuable murals and examples of religious art from the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries. The ethnographic gallery shows the everyday life and crafts of the Otomi people of the valley of Mezquital.The founding of Actopan dates to 1546 when a group of friars from the Augustinian order established themselves in the valley of Mezquital in the present-day state of Hidalgo. The monastery was built under the supervision of Fray Andrés de Mata, when Fray Alonso de la Vera Cruz was Provincial Superior of the order in 1550. The complex is one of the largest Augustinian monasteries which still preserves the memory of the friars’ evangelization of the Otomi people of the region.

Local materials from the valley of Actopan were used in its construction, such as sand, stone and wood to build the stone and mortar walls. The exterior was built in a sober style with a monumental tower topped with battlements to one side of the main door. The elegant facade evokes the Renaissance style with its stone-carved friezes, fluted columns, medallions and sunken panels.

One of the major attractions of the complex of monuments is without a doubt the open chapel whose barrel vault is 56 feet high with an interior decorated with mural paintings, showing a marked religious syncretism in the scenes from Genesis and the Final Judgment. The eye-catching imagery we see tells of the religious messages which served the friars as visual aids in the evangelization of indigenous people at this monastery. The interior spaces of the monastery, such as the refectory, the anterefectory, the cells and the cloister give an insight into monastic life on this historic site, and also feature several mural paintings with very finely painted scenes.

The main stairwell is an incredibly special space, not just because of its ribbed vault ceiling, but also because of the artistic design on its walls using the grisaille painting technique in monochrome, with evangelization scenes as well as personalities connected to the Augustinian order from its origins up to the time the monastery was built. This is a unique space among the Augustinian monasteries of the New World on account of these valuable paintings, as well as those which are located in the anterefectory.

The museum of religious art is situated in the upper part of the former monastery, where we can see sculptures and easel paintings from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries representing various saints, angels, biblical scenes and portrayals of the Virgin Mary. These are fine images using the estofado technique on wood, cornstalk paste sculpture and oils on canvas, which together form a collection of great significance to the cultural heritage of our country.
In a summer residence founded by Maximilian of Hapsburg in 1865, an extensive collection explaining traditional indigenous medicine, based on plants and herbs, according to the 16th century codex and other sources. The exhibition is complemented by the largest collection of Mexican plants.Editar
Founded in the 1950s by city artists, among them Juan José Arreola, the museum exhibits pieces from the western cultures (Coras, Huicholes, coastal Nahuas, Purépechas), pieces from the Viceroyalty and a collection of sketches by the painter José Clemente Orozco.Editar
Shows the development of the Maya peoples that flourished in the highlands of Chiapas up to their peak in Chincultic and Tenam Puente. Presents a valuable collection of finds from this latter site in stone, bone, alabaster and shell.The museum tells the pre-Hispanic history of the Chiapas highlands region. It opened in 1993 and it shares a space with the library of a building dating to 1944, whose porch is designed in a provincial version of Art Deco. The porticoed courtyard inside has a bust of the musician Esteban Alfonso García. The museum has one temporary and two permanent galleries. The displays cover: hunter-gatherer groups; early settlement, ceramics and the first hierarchical societies; the peak of Mayan culture and the consolidation of the great trading routes controlled by the city states, most notably Chinkultic and Tenam Puente; the development of the great centers during the Postclassic (900-1520) and the materials found at the excavations at Tenam Puente during the 1990s. The principal exhibits are stone, bone, alabaster and shell artifacts.Editar
Housed in a mansion from the Porfiriato period, since 1989 the museum has shown temporary fine art exhibitions and a large collection of pre-Hispanic pieces from the indigenous peoples of Sinaloa, particularly fine pottery and human terracotta figures.The museum offers a glimpse of the pre-Hispanic culture of the region. It was opened in 1989 in a late-nineteenth-century mansion, first under the management of the Sinaloa State Government, and then under INAH from 1998. Since then it has seen constant improvement to its exhibitions, additions to the collection and enhancements to visitor facilities. The museum has a temporary exhibition gallery for the display of photographs, paintings, sculpture and exhibitions of items on loan from other collections. There are four permanent galleries displaying around 300 objects, notably red, black and cream colored ceramics, earthenware pitchers, terracotta human figures showing the clothing and jewelry of pre-Hispanic peoples, spindle whorls (malacates) and stone axes, clay pipes and obsidian arrow tips and knives. The funerary customs and the ballcourts (known as ulama) are particularly important. A funerary urn with a number of skeletons symbolizing the return to the uterus of the mother earth stands out, as does the exquisitely finished codex-style pottery from Aztatlan, which probably originated in Sinaloa; plus the ceramic representation of a warrior or priest, prepared for a ritual with a shield and horns, given that in pre-Hispanic Mexico these were symbols of power. There is also information on the Spanish conquest of the state.

The city’s history and archeology museum was founded on the initiative of Mazatlan historian and journalist, José C. Valadés. One of the displays still features a selection of the excellent photographs he took of ancient Sinaloan sites and monuments such as the ulamas and the finds which arrived at the museum, alongside the important donation by the artist Carmen Parra, consisting of items from the shaft tombs of Nayarit and Jalisco, and material from the Comala tradition of Colima, the Tarascan Plateau, the Veracruz coastal plain and even from Teotihuacan and Tenochtitlan, as well as from its area of influence.

The Northeast Archeological Region was established in 1966 under the charge of archeologist Héctor Gálvez. The team he headed up and managed produced fruitful research based on the archeological remains of the Sinaloan sites of: Mezcales, Villa Unión, Siqueiros, El Walamo, Chametla and Escuinapa, and the Nayarit sites of: San Felipe, Tecuala, Las Varas and Centispac. Some of the key finds from these excavations are now in the museum’s collection. Among the valuable finds which came from Héctor Gálvez’s work is a tripod vessel which appears to represent a figure whose face is covered by the skin of a sacrificial victim; a feature shared with the two pre-Hispanic deities from Mexico: Xipe-Totec and Tlazolteotl, both closely linked to fertility, nevertheless the type of labrets and headdress lead the vessel to be interpreted as representing Tlazolteotl, the goddess of sexuality.

In the historic center of Mazatlan, the museum is half a block from the coastal promenade, and three and a half blocks from Plazuela Machado.

Located on the island of Cuale, in the crafts market, it exhibits a varied collection with contributions from the regional museums of Guadalajara, Colima and Michoacán, showing the traditions of the ethnic groups inhabiting the west of Mexico: Chupícuaros, Tarascans and other cultures previous to the Spanish conquest.Editar
Opened to the public in 1965, in an eighteenth-century colonial house, the museum exhibits Maya architectural elements from various sites, as well a fine collection of Jaina figures, vessels and carved stone objects.The Royal Road Museum, as it is also known, is housed in an eighteenth-century mansion of the viceregal period, in the main plaza of the Municipality of Hecelchakan. According to the official history the town was founded in the sixteenth century. Hecelchakan is located in the savanna; it is an indigenous name meaning “resting place in the savanna.”

A version of its history is told by the 1547 Tax Register and various documents of the period, which record that Hecelchakan was part of a larger “encomienda” controlled by Pedro Martín de Bonilla located 25 miles to the north in the towns of Cenote and Mopilá. In 1579 the Franciscan order built a monastery called Jecchakan in this “independent town.”

The Royal Road of Hecelchakan Archeological Museum was located in the center of town on the north side of the same plaza as the monastery. It was opened to the public under the administration of Colonel José Ortiz Ávila, who gave the building on free loan to the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), where it remains today. The permanent collection established at the time includes an interesting selection of archeological finds from the settlements in the north of the state such as Xcalumkin, Xcombek, Itzimte, Xculoc and other sites from the Puuc region of western Campeche. However the majority of items in the collection come from the island of Hina or Jaina.

Today the community hosting the museum is home to 10,000 inhabitants who retain a deep-rooted intangible Mayan cultural tradition. It is located nearly 40 miles north of Campeche on the west side of Federal Highway 180, which runs northwards linking it to the Municipality of Calkini.

40 miles north of Campeche via Federal Highway 180 towards Calkini.

The history of Xoconochco (place of the bitter tuna cactus) is told in a 1920s Art Deco building. It is a tale of a land that was conquered by the Mexica, but whose original inhabitants were the Mokaya, who gave way more than two thousand years ago to the Olmecs, who left stelae and monoliths, such as those in Izapa dating back to 1500 B.C.The museum occupies part of a building with a strong Art Deco influence built in 1925-26 as the seat of local government in Tapachula. The area occupied by the museum inside the building was once earmarked for the jail. It offers a glimpse of the pre-Hispanic history of the region with displays of monoliths and stelae from the Izapa archeological site. The Mokaya were the first settlers at the time of the hunter-gatherers. The Soconusco was conquered by the Olmecs more than 2,000 years ago and they left great cities whose remains are found in the archeological sites of today. Izapa, which was built around 1500 BC, was an important civic and religious center. The Mexica managed to conquer the Chiapas coast, subjecting the Soconusco towns to tributes as well as controlling the trade routes to Central America.Editar
Part of the ancient walls of the port of Veracruz built for defence against pirates, Santiago is the only remaining bastion. It houses samples of the ‘Fisherman’s Treasure’, a remarkable collection of gold-ware salvaged by a local Jarocho fisherman.Editar
Sala de exposiciones
Built in1764, a large house in Lagos de Moreno, inhabited in the 19th century by the canon and historian Agustín Rivera y Sanrománn, an active liberal of the Juarista movement. It frequently houses temporary exhibitions about archaeology, history and local art.Editar
Sitio histórico
A house from the Porfirio Diaz era and Venustiano Carranza’s family home during the last six months of his life. Later used as a military barracks, headquarters of the “association of constitutionalists” and library. It houses a varied exhibition of objects from the political and private life of Mexico’s “First Chief” of the Constitutionalist forces.

In 1908, the engineer Manuel Stampa built this family home that was typical of the Porfirio Díaz era, although he was forced to abandon it in 1913 during the Ten Tragic Days. It was then occupied by General Felipe Ángeles—recently arrived from Cuernavaca—as barracks for the federal troops under his command, because of its proximity to the Colonia railway station, and with the idea for Ángeles to defend President Madero and thus thwart General Victoriano Huerta, his superior, who had already decided to commit his act of betrayal, aided and abetted by Generals Bernardo Reyes, Manuel Mondragón and Félix Díaz, as well as US ambassador Henry Lane Wilson. The Constitutionalist Revolution broke out, defeating Huerta; this was followed by the infighting (“La Lucha de Facciones”) between supporters of Carranza against the followers of Zapata and Villa (including Felipe Ángeles), and when the “Villistas”—who were already nearing defeat—cleared out the capital in 1915, the Stampa family returned to the house and lived there until 1918. By November of the following year, President Venustiano Carranza rented and lived in the property for six months, before fleeing Mexico City after the Agua Prieta rebellion staged by generals Plutarco Elías Calles, Adolfo de la Huerta and Álvaro Obregón; Carranza attempted to install the government in Veracruz, but ended up being assassinated in Tlaxcalantongo on May 21, 1920. Carranza’s body was brought to the house some days later. Finally, Juan Barragán and Paulino Fontes, both members of the armed forces, acquired the property and ceded it to Julia Carranza, daughter of the former president.

In later years, the house was rented to the embassies of France and then El Salvador. It was subsequently renovated to become the office of the Association of Constitutionalist Deputies in 1917, a Library and Newspaper and Periodicals Library (with publications dated between 1914 to 1922, and also holding the original Plan of Guadalupe), and later the Historical Museum of the Constitution and Constitutional Laws. In 1961 it was turned into the museum it is today, with the main exhibit being the house itself, with its original wooden floors, a dome and handpainted, lead-framed glazed windows, as well as molded friezes and a beautiful flying buttress in the middle of the entrance hall. In February 1993 it became part of the National Institute of Anthropology and History’s network of museums.

In the museum’s fourteen galleries with permanent exhibits, visitors can admire a collection of 3,400 objects, including items such as books, photographs, period furniture, and the personal effects of the “Baron of Cuatro Ciénegas.” The ground floor rooms set out as galleries include the lobby, entrance hall, sitting room (where the wake for the dignitary was held), the dining room and kitchen, as well as a gallery with oil paintings by Gerardo Murillo (aka Dr Atl), Salvador R. Guzmán and Jorge González Camarena, and a small conference hall for conferences and academic events. On the top floor, visitors can explore the bedrooms, library and so-called historic rooms, three spaces for the sewing room and spare bedrooms; these rooms contain information on Carranza’s family life and political career, with special emphasis on his greatest legacy: the promulgation of the 1917 Constitution.

Nearest Metro stations: Insurgentes and Hidalgo; Metrobús: Hamburg and Reforma

In one of the mightiest forts of the vice-royal period, dating from the late eighteenth century, this museum is now home to two unique collections: the funerary jade masks of Calakmul, and the funerary ceramic figures of Jaina. In addition, there are some remarkable Mayan stone sculptures. The architecture and splendid collections of the Fuerte de San Miguel were among the main reasons why the city of Campeche was listed by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1999.

The Maya Archeological Museum on the site of the Fuerte de San Miguel is a seventeenth-century building, forming part of [Campeche’s] defense system that consisted of two hilltop forts and four batteries on the coast. This construction was specified as a reason for the city becoming a UNESCO World Heritage Site as a “Fortified Historic City” in 1999.

In 1963, the building was restored to become a museum of weaponry and seamanship; in 1978 its collection was replaced by the displays of the Museum of Mayan Archeology. A refurbishment in 1999 renewed the exhibition design and the collection was expanded to include objects from various archeological sites across the state.

There are two collections: one consists of jade funerary masks from the tombs of the Rulers of Calakmul, the other is a display of funerary figurines from the island of Jaina. Other important items include a pot with an iguana-shaped lid, hinting at a rich history of religious ideas expressed iconographically, and an earthenware pot with a lid in the form of a black panther’s head or a night sun, both discovered at the Becán archeological site. The stone drum sculpture, featuring the image of a queen, comes from the site of Edzná or “House of the Itzaes”.

The fortification of New Spain’s coastlines have a long history. The Bourbon kings of France, Spain and Naples with Sicily (the southern half of the Italian peninsula) sealed a series of “family pacts” in the eighteenth century which led them to engage in, or stir up, onerous wars, including the Seven Years’ War (1756-1763), which led to the Spanish Empire losing Florida and being forced to recognize the British right to establishing an outpost in modern-day Belize.

As a result, the Yucatán Peninsula—which, like Florida, “closed off” the Gulf of Mexico to trade—found itself in a precarious position; by the mid-eighteenth century the port of Campeche had already been attacked by English pirates, and the Spanish galleons that carried New Spain’s silver and Peruvian gold, along with many other goods—including products from Asia that had come via Acapulco—were regularly plundered by English and Dutch pirates. The Spanish government then decided to equip the coasts of New Spain with a series of forts, as part of a plan drawn up by the infantry brigadier Agustín Crame, and this system included the Fuerte de San Miguel in Campeche on a hill called La Eminencia, to the southwest of the city. This fort was eventually completed in 1779, together with the coastal batteries of San Luis and San Fernando, boasting artillery that made it very difficult for enemy invaders to disembark. The works were supervised by the king’s deputy, Don Leandro Poblaciones.

Later abandoned, following Mexico’s Independence from Spain the Ministry of War took over responsibility for the fort, and its restoration under the INAH’s supervision began in 1963. Two years later it opened as a museum, and in 1999 it received additions to its collections from various parts of the state of Campeche.

The fort of San José el Alto in Campeche, built for defence against the English, which also resisted sieges by the Yucatecans and the French, today contains an important collection of antique historical arms from the 16th to the 19th centuries, a rare cannon salvaged from the sea and scale models of famous ships.Editar
Sitio histórico
The first museum dedicated to female monastic life during the seventeenth to twentieth centuries. The objects in the collection reflect a variety of customs and roles. There is a fine collection of paintings by renowned artists.After the definitive exclaustration of the Augustinian Recollect Nuns of the Convent of Santa Mónica of Puebla in accordance with the Reform Laws incorporated into the Constitutions of 1857 and 1917, the building was converted into the first Mexican Museum of Sacred Art dedicated to female religious life. It became part of INAH in 1940. It has a collection of sacred art from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries, consisting principally of four collections from former convents of the city of Puebla: Santa Mónica (Augustinian Recollects), Santa Catalina (Dominicans), San Joaquín y Santa Ana (Capuchins) and La Soledad (Carmelites).

Puebla-style Baroque is evident in the seventeenth-century building of the former Convent of Santa Mónica, particularly in the Patio de Profesas (Courtyard of the Vows), covered in Talavera tiles with angled bricks in a pattern like woven palm straw (petatillo). Nevertheless the main facade of Calle 18 Poniente is in a Neoclassical style.

The museum reconstructs the nuns’ religious life in 23 permanent exhibition galleries and two courtyards, of the Vows and the Novices. The room settings are of particular interest: Pleasures (bathing), Kitchen, Refectory, Upper and Lower Choir and the Prioress’ Office. The thematic galleries are: The Life of St. Augustin, Reliquary, Allegories and Sponsors, Velvet (tapestries) and the Virgin Mary. These spaces display a collection which is unique of its type, consisting of religious paintings by notable artists of the viceregal period such as Juan Correa, Pascual Pérez, Juan de Villalobos, Luis Berrueco, Miguel Cabrera, Nicolás Rodríguez Juárez, Francisco Castillo, Miguel Jerónimo de Zendejas and Rafael Morante. There are also estofado and wax sculptures, a large collection of textiles worked by the nuns; embroidery and altarpieces, as well as the nuns’ library with liturgical books and objects.

In addition to the permanent exhibition, the Santa Mónica Museum currently has temporary exhibitions by guest curators, there are fine art educational workshops, conferences, book launches, concerts, guided tours and other academic and cultural activities.

The city of Puebla was founded on April 16, 1531 because of the need for a “Spanish” city between Mexico City and the port of Veracruz to counter the populous and fully indigenous city of Tlaxcala, which held privileges on account of its support of the Spanish during the conquest. During the colonial period, Puebla became one of New Spain's most important cities, with substantial investment, commerce and circulation of capital, to the extent that it received the title of “most noble and loyal Puebla de los Ángeles.” Eleven convents for women were founded in the city and Santa Mónica was one of these. In 1688 Bishop Manuel Fernández de Santa Cruz took the vows of 24 schoolgirls to become Augustinian Recollects, forming the first convent of this order in the Americas.

The 1857 the Reform Laws sought to wrest power from the Catholic hierarchy, which had been supporting conservative initiatives, although not necessarily the ordinary priests themselves. This led to successive exclaustrations which by the twentieth century forced the nuns to live discreetly in contravention of the law, hidden behind the walls of their convent, which remained active, although with interruptions owing to a series of temporary expulsions and successive occupations up until 1934. In that year the convent was discovered and closed after nearly 250 years of monastic life. This was one of the last monasteries to be closed in Mexico. The nuns were obliged to live in private houses, until they could acquire a new property.

The property was put into the safekeeping of the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit and the Office for National Property in Puebla, which was legally responsible for safeguarding artistic and historical property. The Convent of Santa Mónica became a depository for art objects confiscated mainly from the other four convents of the city, as well as its own. In 1935 it became the first museum of religious art in the Mexican Republic. In the same year a decree by president Lázaro Cárdenas passed responsibility for the building to the Ministry for Public Education, continuing until 1940, when the newly formed National Institute of Anthropology and History took over its management.

From the Zócalo (on foot): head northeast on Calle 16 de Septiembre toward Reforma Avenue, continue on Calle 5 de Mayo until Calle 18 Poniente, the Museum is on the left.

Public transport: bus routes 21, 16, Galgos del Sur, any one that takes you to the IMSS San José Hospital.

The San Nicolás Obispo College, built for Vasco de Quiroga and opened in 1540, displays the wonderful handcrafts of Michoacan which include: pottery, copper, stone and wooden crafts, lacquerware from Uruapan and Quiroga, Patzcuaro-style guilding, backstrap weaving, treadle loom weaving and embroidery.The building which houses the Museum of Popular Arts and Industries of Patzcuaro is a historic monument, mainly from the eighteenth century. The building is on a single level and its spaces are organized around two large patios. The first of these is square with a beautiful garden and four wide porticoes separated by round arches and stonework pillars. The walls are made from thick adobe, as is typical of the region, the roof is gabled with rafters creating a solid wooden structure for the tiles. There is a roof terrace supported on tejamanil (thin boards). The walls are smoothed and painted white.

The building has undergone many significant transformations. Vasco de Quiroga, the first bishop of Michoacan, commissioned the original San Nicolás Obispo College on this site. Even though it dates back to the sixteenth century, there are only a few walls left standing from the original building. The building’s current configuration has been shaped by its subsequent use as a girls’ school, private residence, military headquarters and agrarian meeting center.

The Museum of Popular Arts and Industries in Patzcuaro was founded in 1938 by a decree of President Lázaro Cárdenas in order to reassert the economic and aesthetic value of Purepecha crafts. Since then, this eighteenth-century building with 11 rooms has been an exhibition space. It became part of the INAH museum network in 1942.

For the last 70 years the building has been the showcase for local Purepecha handcrafts. Its permanent and temporary exhibitions have displayed an evolving craft production recognized for its variety, quality and aesthetics within Mexico and abroad. A tour of the museum provides information on the women and men involved in production, their needs and choices, their daily tasks and the behind the scenes organization of each of the region's handcrafts.

Under INAH’s custody the museum has incorporated acquisitions of the Institute as well as donations from the craft makers. Renovation work in the 1970s brought in showcases made by the carpenters of Patzcuaro, and uncovered part of the yacata (circular-plan temple) in the rear patio, also providing the site with a rich collection of pottery from various towns across the Purepecha region. In December 2010 the museum reopened its doors after new maintenance work to the building and the renewal of the exhibitions, now given an ethnographic slant to provide information not only on the artistic aspect of the crafts but also information on the way of life and organization of the towns where they are produced. Thanks to the curatorial guidance of Dr. Aída Castilleja González, a researcher from the Michoacan INAH Center in association with Catalina Rodríguez Lazcano, curator of the World of the Purepecha Gallery of the National Museum of Anthropology, the museum has been able to offer a tour of the different working methods of the Purepecha people of Michoacan.

The museum’s historical building represents nearly 50 of the region’s towns, subdivided into four areas: La Sierra (mountains), La Laguna (lake), La Ciénaga (marshes) and La Cañada de los Once Pueblos (valley of the 11 villages). The curators offer a glimpse into the different working methods and trades of these ethnic groups. The aim is to show work as a dynamic factor in the life of society, which gives the inhabitants a sense of identity. Ancient ways of working from pre-Hispanic times are shown, followed by new systems and trades incorporated during the viceregal period. Hence the displays cover activities such as: hunting, gathering, fishing, farming, food preparation, pottery, copper work, stone and wood work, lacquerware of Uruapan and Quiroga and the Patzcuaro-style gilding, as well as building techniques, clothing (backstrap weaving, treadle loom weaving and embroidery) and music.

It is located in the center of the city of Patzcuaro, one block from the Plaza Vasco de Quiroga. Entering the city by the Morelia-Patzcuaro road, continue along Lázaro Cárdenas avenue, which leads to the junction of Ahumada, Lloreda and Buenavista streets (a point known as Siete Esquinas or seven corners), from there take Buenavista street, which leads to Arciga street, continue along the latter, to the east the Basilica de Nuestra Señora de la Salud can be seen. Continuing down that same street, the museum is less than 50 meters to the south.

An 18th century house in Compostela, the second capital of Nueva Galicia, is now the local museum with a valuable pre-Hispanic collection of the cultures of the ‘Tiro’ Tombs (with air shafts) and Aztatlán. There is also an explanation and many objects of the history of the city and surrounding area.Editar
A seventeenth-century Carmelite college and church, built by a prominent architect of the vice-regal period. Its collection includes frescos, religious art, and wax figurines by contemporary artist Carmen Carillo de Antúnez; mummified bodies of nuns and local inhabitants are also displayed in its ossuary.

Keeping San Ángel’s cultural heritage very much alive with its flower festival as well as the Dolores and Day of the Dead altars, El Carmen Museum is an essential port of call for anyone wishing to discover more about these unique traditions. It is located in the Ex-Colegio de San Ángelo Mártir, formerly a college with stunning, colonial architecture and a history closely interwoven with that of San Ángel—once a town in its own right that used to be on the outskirts of the capital—where the Order of the Barefoot Carmelites was established 400 years ago.

The building was constructed between 1615 and 1617 under the supervision of Fray Andrés de San Miguel. As a seventeenth-century edifice, it was central to the area’s social, cultural and economic development. It ceased to operate as a monastery during the Reform years; it was subdivided and lost much of its land, which used to extend all the way to the area known as Chimalistac. During that period it was used variously as a jail, a storehouse, and an army barracks. In 1921, it became a cultural center and, finally, in 1929, it was converted into a museum of religious art of the vice-regal period, immediately turning into an iconic location that strengthened the community’s identity and cultural roots.

In November 2012, it reopened to the public after nine of its galleries were renovated and its displays brought up to date. The museum is perhaps most invaluable for the building itself: a beautiful and austere construction that endures its frenetic urban surroundings like a serene monk, and its most outstanding feature is the coffered ceiling over the sacristy.

Once inside, visitors are able to reconstruct the life of the Barefoot Carmelites in different spaces distributed around the complex of buildings: the porter’s lodge, cells (each one furnished with a bed, table and bench seat, crucifix and a mural of the Virgin), ante-choir, domestic chapel, sacristy, punishment cell, refectory, sickbay, lookout point, orchard, crypts, library and an aqueduct. The esthetic and stylistic qualities of the artworks can be appreciated during a visit of the different rooms, confirming the building’s influence on the area’s evolution. The museum has around 300 objects on display—a selection from its overall collection of 700—and these include works of religious art, by leading artists of New Spain such as Cristóbal de Villalpando, Luis Juárez, Miguel Cabrera, Juan Becerra and Juan Correa, as well as by anonymous painters. In addition to the paintings, there are sculptures and original furnishings from the former college, which reveal the history and daily life of the Carmelites, including items such as portraits, altarpieces, patrocinios (images of a protective patron saint), reliquaries, handcrafts, documents, choir books, engravings and the remains of frescos, some of them recently discovered—there is also a variety of some remarkable (Dominican, Augustinian, Franciscan) objects as well as exhibits from other museums such as Chapultepec Castle, the Museum of Interventions, and the Museum of Santa Monica. A number of donated and confiscated objects have further enriched the collection.

The museum’s exhibits also safeguard the collective imaginary and memory of the Mexican people, as in the case of the 12 mummies (of monks and local inhabitants buried in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries) which were found by revolutionary soldiers, antique photographs, and 50 miniature human figurines made in wax by the artist Carmen Antúnez, which, apart from their extraordinary realism and textile work, constitute a remarkable ethnological record of ritual dances and traditional costumes of Mexico’s indigenous peoples.



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