Mexican Museums a La Carte

What Make us Great... Our Museums

By Mónica Belén

You wake up, open your eyes, stretch, it is  morning.  You get up and hurry, you go to the bathroom, you think ... today is another day; you must work or maybe dedicate yourself to the children, or not, I know ... enter the classes virtual machines that have been made bittersweet by saving time in transfers and not leaving. Whatever it is and however you occupy your days, there is always time at night or on the weekend to visit some distant place, -I invite you to Mexico! To all of it and to the City of Palaces, its capital. My country is imposing and wonderful; it keeps secrets in its museums, its history and present.  Do not worry, you do not have to take a plane to visit them; there are fabulous virtual experiences that will allow you  to marvel at the culture and take a look at Mexican things like you have never seen before ...

In the year 1790, the first museum was founded in Mexico City. It  is the second city in the world with more museums, after London, with its 162 museum spaces.  It embraces the curious and anxious visitors who walk through them; they keep collections of the oldest eras to the most outstanding modern art.

Mexico has a variety of more than 1800 museums; here are some examples:

1.- NATIONAL MUSEUM OF ANTHROPOLOGY AND HISTORY (MNA) .- Inaugurated in 1964, it is an incredible space that would take three or four days to visit on foot, but virtually you will be able to visit all of its permanent collection rooms, such as: Indigenous Cultures de México, Introduction to Anthropology, Population of America, Preclassic in the Central Highlands, Teotihuacán, The Toltecas and their time, Mexica, Oaxaca cultures, Gulf Coast cultures, Maya, Western cultures, Northern and Olmec cultures . Ah! and be amazed by the incredible AZTEC CALENDAR, or PIEDRA DEL SOL, with its 54,212 pounds of weight and 11,811 feet in diameter.  This will amaze you! The IMPOSING TLÁLOC is 370,377 pounds, and its history will leave you stunned - monolith of the Mexican rain god. It is said that it rained copiously during the 120 kilometers of travel to the museum.

2.- NATIONAL HISTORY MUSEUM, CASTILLO DE CHAPULTEPEC.- What beauty in this museum - a royal castle in the heart of Mexico City, built on the orders of the Emperor Maximilian of Hasburg (yes, Mexico has had emperors); it served as a military barracks, residence of presidents and much more. It is built on the top of the so-called Cerro del Chapulín (grasshopper hill).

3.- MUSEO DEL TEMPLO MAYOR.- In the center of the heart of Mexico City, next to the imposing metropolitan Cathedral, is this wonderful museum; it keeps more than 14,000 archaeological pieces found in what was the center of the Aztec empire, from Greater Tenochtitlán.  can visit the remains of the Axayacatl palace (Aztec Emperor, his name means "mask of water"), as well as the Temple to Huizlopochtli (God of war).

4.- SOUMAYA MUSEUM.- With an avant-garde design in its architecture, this museum has more than 70,000 pieces of art by different universal Masters such as Rodin, Monet, Manet, Renoir, Degas from impressionism. The old European masters El Greco, Tintoretto, Cranach, Zurbarán, Murillo. It has the only works by Vicent Van Gogh in Mexico. And what about the Mexican teachers José María Velasco, Dr. Atl, Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco and David Alfaro Siqueiros, among many others? This museum houses  works by the incredible Salvador Dalí and the original manuscripts of The Prophet and The Madman by Gibran Kahlil Gibran. It opened in 1994, and Larry King attended.

5.- DESERT MUSEUM.- This museum is located in Saltillo, Coahuila, known for being a land of dinosaurs in the north of the country. If you like these gigantic animals, it is the ideal option. You will view the fauna that inhabited the Valley of the Dinosaurs in that state, such as the Coahuilaceratops magnacuerna. You will also find ancient vestiges of primitive men who inhabited this land and living fauna such as the conservation area of ​​the Mexican Coyote that, thanks to conservation efforts, is now out of danger of extinction.

7.- REGIONAL MUSEUM OF GUADALAJARA. Founded in 1918, it has a collection of approximately 18,000 pieces between archeology and paleontology. Bones of mammoths and giant mammals that inhabited the west of the country are on display.

8.- GREAT MUSEUM OF THE MAYAN WORLD. Located in the south of Mexico in the state of Yucatan, it has more than 2000 pieces of archeology from the Mayan culture, pieces of great volume in stone. It is worth shopping around.

9.- REGIONAL MUSEUM OF GUANAJUATO. This museum is  in one of the most emblematic states of art in the country by the Annual Cervantino Festival that brings together thousands of artists from all latitudes. Also known as 'La Alhóndiga de Granaditas', is a building built by the architect José del Mazo and Avilés in the city of Guanajuato at the end of the 18th century. It was one of the most important stages of the independence of Mexico. The museum is considered one of the largest and richest in the Mexican Republic since it has an inventoried collection of 9,275 objects of great historical and cultural value.

10.- MUSEUM OF ANTHROPOLOGY OF XALAPA. Located in the beautiful state of Veracruz, in the Gulf of Mexico, it is the second space with the largest collection of pre-Hispanic art in Mesoamerica of the Olmec (the first culture of Mesoamerica), Totonac and Huasteca cultures.  There you can find, in detail, the famous giant Olmec heads that appear to have African features.

So you already have a wide range of options to get to know Mexico through its museums, its art, culture, its past and present that have given the perfect mix to be a country that goes beyond tequila and cactus. ...

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