Museums of Mexico

Never visit Mexico without taking in the museums. 

Mexico is bursting with culture and history, and in its museums you will find world-famous ancient art that mesmerizes visitors. Here are a few recommendations of the museums to visit when in Mexico:

Museo Nacional de Antropologia
Among the world's most outstanding museums, the Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City contains riches representing 3,000 years of the country's past. Also on view are fabulous artifacts of still-thriving cultures.

Museo Frida Kahlo (Frida Kahlo House and Museum) 
This is a museum built in the house where Mexico's first "couple of art" lived. Their names were Frida Kahol and Diego Rivera. In this museum, you will see an excellent sample of their work. It can be found in the suburb of Coyoacin in Mexico City and the house has the rooms arranged just exactly as the couple had them when they lived there before. This helps to let you experience how it was in their home in their lifetime. This museum may not be world famous but folks do find their private collection display to be rather interesting.

Palacio Nacional
The top floor of this museum has an interesting arrangement of murals by Diego Rivera describing the history of Mexico. The building serves today as Mexico's government center and presidential office. It was built in 1692 at the location of the Moctezuma's "new" palace at the time.

Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City 
This is a famous and popular palace built for the performing arts in Mexico City. The designers and architects were Adamo Boari from Italy and several others. The outside of this building displays Art Nouveau from the early 20th century and the interior is of Art Deco from the 1930 era.

The Templo Mayor's Aztec Splendor
There are two museums that tell of the Aztec Empire's glory. They are the Templo Mayor and Museo Templo Mayor and both are in Mexico City. These contain 6,000 objects on display and are both archeological excavations and museums. 

Catedral Metropolitana
This cathedral is full of rich history and it takes you way back. It was built from stones that came from destroyed Aztec temples and construction began in 1573 and ended in 1788.

Santa Prisca y San Sebastion Church
This church and museum can be found in the town of Taxco. Its interior is filled with paintings by Miguel Cabrera along with decorations of gold-leafed saints and angels. It is said to have a sophisticated carved exterior and is one of Mexico's most famous baroque churches.

Mexican Masks in Zacatecas
The Museo Rafael Coronel is where the greatest display of masks in the country can be found. Masks are an omnipresent characteristic of Mexico's culture and are found in its folk art and at festivals.

Museo Virreinal de Guadalupe
This is a Franciscan art museum and convent containing a spectacular collection of 17th and 18th century paintings. The paintings are by famous artists such as Cristobal deVillalapando and Miguel Cabrera. It is located near Zacatecas in the quaint but famous little town of Guadalupe.

Morelia's Cathedral
Simple lines, balanced proportions, a deft blending of architectural styles, and monumental height -- Morelia's cathedral is the most beautiful in the country. It's built of brownish-pink stone that is said to turn "fiery rose" in the late-afternoon sun. Though not a museum, it is in itself a tremendously fascinating work of art.

Puebla's Capilla del Rosario
Another "museum" located in a church -- this one in Santo Domingo, this structure is a blend of baroque expression, executed in molded plaster, carved wood, Mexican tile, and gold leaf.

Puebla's Museo Amparo
You will find this museum in the city of Puebla and it contains an elaborate collection of recent historical art as will as art from the pre-Columbian era.

by Rachael Spaan


by John Collis and David M. Jones
W. W. Norton & Company, 2000

The first guide in English to describe in detail the archaeology, architecture and art of Mexico. Atlas, maps and plans by John Flower. Archaeological site plans by David M. Jones. Indexed. 938 pages.

Ancient Mexico: An Overview

by Jaime Litvak King

The traveler en route to Mexico for the first time or the beginning student of Mesoamerican archaeology, dazzled by the varied reminders of exotic extinct cultures that dot the map, will welcome this engaging introduction to Mexico before the Spanish conquest. The author, a leading Mexican archaeologist, guides the novice reader from the arrival of man in the New World through the thousands of years during which society evolved from small groups of hunter-gatherers to the advanced civilization that the first European visitors encountered in the sixteenth century.

The Yucatan
Cancun & Cozumel 
by Bruce Conord and June Conord
Hunter, 2000.
Winner, "Best Travel Book,"North American Travel Journalists Assoc. Covers many places not even mentioned in competing guides. Take to the mountain trails, swim in hidden cenotes, watch the sun rise on a beach near the ancient Maya port of Polé (where the authors celebrated the dawn of the new millennium). Visit Bohemian Playa del Carmen, or history-rich Cozumel, where the Spanish first set foot on the North American continent..

see the movie
based on the book
Frida Kahlo 
by Frida Kahlo

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