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Oaxaca's multi-faceted history
I've waxed lyrical about the building that houses the Museo Regional de Oaxaca, the exhibits in the museum itself are no less impressive.
After the army left the building in 1992 and it was handed over to the city, an orgy of restoration began which saw the museum opening in 1998. The complex is huge however and the museum is only part of it. This is the city's Cultural Centre - other sections are given over to a magnificent library and textile collection, an art gallery, concerts are held here and so on. Outside, the gardens and orchards have been replanted to create a botanical garden of indigenous plants that have provided food, medicine, perfume, and fibres to the region for millenia.
The museum's galleries house a wonderful collection of pre-Hispanic and colonial period treasures, the most important of which must be the fabulous contents of a Mixtec tomb from Monte Alban, but there is much more and a couple of hours spent here will give you a good overview of the history of Oaxaca. Signage is only in Spanish.
I found the dim lighting very atmospheric, keen photographers may not be so happy. Videocams and flash photography are forbidden, tripods attract a usage fee.
Access to the Botanical Garden is restricted to guided tours at 1pm and 6pm, enquire and sign up at the front desk. Admission is free, though 'donations' are required.
Museo de las Culturas de Oaxaca
This is a wonderful museum and I spent a lot of time here. The building used to be a monastery, so the museum's rooms all are small and dark, with huge stone walls. The smallest rooms are all dedicated to one topic such as medicine, music, specific crafts etc.
Highlight is the Mixtecs treasure from Monte Albán, from Tumba 7. Plenty of gold and jade and silver and amber, bones... wonderful! And very impressive to visit the Monte Albán ruins before (or after) your visit to the museum.
- Historical Travel
Convent and Cathedral
Of course, there is Monte Alban, but there is also the old convent that has been turned into a museum. It is absolutely cool wandering through the different rooms looking at mesoamerican history and artifacts. It really gives you a feel for the catholic influence that has penetrated the area, but also for the indian influence that has existed for centuries! Wonderful place and not too expensive!
- Museum Visits
Museo Regional de Oaxaca
This superb museum is housed in the old monastery attached to Santo Domingo.
The building itself has several imposing wings built around two enclosed open spaces - the central courtyard and the cloisters. The Museum makes the most of these resources, with many of the wide corridors opening out on to external views.
Housed in various sized rooms, ranging from the refectory to the small cell bedrooms, the Museum offers a glimpse of Oaxacan life throughout the ages - ranging from magnificent artefacts found in Monte Alban and the surrounding area (10,000 to 500 BC), colonial Spanish rule through to the present day. Its layout and opportunities to stop and stare out to the distant mountains or a street scene ensure that you never feel overawed by the sheer quantity of exhibits.
- Museum Visits
Ex-convento de Santo Domingo
El Templo de Santo Domingo de Guzmán
entrance 48 pesos. 35 pesos video
open 10-19.00 last entre 18.15
Located in restored former convent and located next to the Santo Domingo Church
you need to leave your bag at the garderobe.
when you come inside you see a fountain. first i was dissapointed but at the halls were there is exhibitions there are small rooms with cultural things like furniture clocks jewelery.
so from entrance after security gate go to the left show your ticket see maquette after showing ticket go up stairs if you in a rush go up next stair right at the front of you for tombe 7 from monte alban you see jewelry what is found there. if not in a hurry fllow other stair up. also look at the ceiling. from last stair i went to the left and followed it like a square.
dont forget to go to the balconies to take pictures of the garden botanico
- Arts and Culture
Santo Domingo Cultural Museum, pt 1
This museum has a wonderful collection of prehispanic sculpture and jewelry. It also focuses on the history of Oaxaca and Mexico. The architecural space is incredible. If you love Mexican modern minimalist - you'll enjoy the spaces within this monestary. There is also a garden but a guided tour must be arranged (which is included with admission) - only twice a day.
Santo Domingo Museo de las Culturas
Adjoining Santo Domingo church is the monastery of Museo de las Culturas who became a regional museum in 1972. I must admit it is more interesting than the church. It is considered to be one of the best museums in Mexico. It covers the history and cultures of Oaxaca. There are fourteen rooms and each room presenting different period of history. Also it exhibits contemporary art and designs. You can take photos without flash and definitely no video.
Admission is $57. Opening hours 10am to 7pm Tuesday to Sunday.
- Castles and Palaces
Museo Textil de Oaxaca
Textile Museum (Museo Textil de Oaxaca), is interesting Museum. It exhibits diversity of textiles done by the indigenous people. The main aim of the museum is the conservation of the textile heritage, restoration and preservation of the traditional woven cloth.
There’s a shop, which you can buy books, cloth, material and souvenir.
Admission is by donation.
Open from 10.00 am to 8.00 pm Tuesday to Sunday.
- Road Trip
Centro Cultural Santo Domingo
The Centro Cultural Santo Domingo is located next door to the ex-Convento Iglesia de Santo Domingo. The exhibitions contained a detailed history of Oaxaca: from the first men to populate the area over 10,000 years ago to the modern inhabitants. The highlight of the exhibit is reserved to Monte Alban and the treasures found inside Tomb#7 (check out my Monte Alban page).
- Historical Travel
- Museum Visits
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Oaxaca de Juárez Travel Guide
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