Great Museums in Mexico City

Mexico has a lot to share to the world with its long, rich and colorful history where ancient Mexican civilizations merged with the Catholic European culture of Spain. After attaining its independence in the 19th century, Mexico set about building its ow

Templo Mayor

(Stone offering box and contents found at the Templo Mayor.) Image source

The Templo Mayor is an archeological site and museum located in the sacred city that formed the heart of ancient Aztec capital city of Tenochtitlan.  This most significant temple complex was constructed in the 14th century and was enlarged numerous times over the course of the next two centuries.  The accidental discovery of the extraordinary Coyolxauhqui carving in 1978 led to extensive excavations that uncovered a wealth of artifacts revealing the grandeur of the Aztec Empire as it once was in the historic center of present-day capital city of Mexico.  

Museo Nacional de Antropología

(The Maya Room) Image source

Regarded to be one of the finest museums of its kind in the world, the magnificent 1964-inaugurated Museo Nacional de Antropología designed by renowned architect Pedro Ramirez Vasquez houses superb collection of artifacts that explores Mexico’s prehistory; the lives and beliefs of the Maya, Aztecs, Olmecs, Toltecs and other great civilizations; and the way of life of the country’s surviving indigenous people, embodying three millennia of the country's history.

Museo Frida Kahlo

Image source          

Museo Frida Kahlo was the home of Mexico’s most original painter.  Frida Kahlo (1907-54) painted many of her famous works here inspired mostly by the pain she suffered as a result of breaking her back in a traffic accident in 1925.  The museum houses not only a treasure trove of her paintings but also innumerable artifacts connected with her life and that of her lover Diego Rivera.  Also on exhibit are the letters and diaries as well as ceramics and other everyday items including Kahlo’s wheelchair and stiff corsets she was constantly obliged to wear due to her disability.

Museo de Arte Moderno

(Inside the main lobby) Image source

On exhibit in this gallery of modern art are a wide collection of 20th-century Mexican painting and sculpture including works by well-known figures - Rufino Tamayo, Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros, and Frida Kahlo - as well as artists not belonging to the mainstream established by the muralists and others since the Revolution (1910-1920).  Works by contemporary artists such as Alberto Castro Leñero, Irma Palacios and Emilio Ortiz are also represented.  Among the highlights are Frida Kahlo’s The Two Fridas, Diego Riviera’s portrait of Lupe Marin, and Las Soldaderas by José Clemente Orozco.  

Museo Nacional de las Intervenciones

(Portion of the room dedicated to the Mexican-American War) Image source

A former convent that bore witness to the battle between the US and Mexican forces in 1847, the museum is now dedicated to the foreign invasions of Mexico since its independence in 1821. Collections on display consist of weapons, flags, and other historical objects such as a throne and saber belonging to Agustin de Iturbide and a death mask of the Emperor Maximilian, as well as paintings, maps and models.  Adjoining the museum is the former convent church with a few excellent gilded altarpieces as well as religious paintings that include La Asuncion by the 16th century painter Luis Juarez and the 17th century work La Virgen y San Ildefonso by Manuel de Echave.

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