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Museo Nacional de Antropología

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Museo Nacional de Antropología Mexico City  Mexico
Museo Nacional de Antropología Mexico City  Mexico
Museo Nacional de Antropología Mexico City  Mexico
Mayans and Aztecs and Olmecs... Oh My! Mexico City  Mexico
Museo Nacional de Antropología: The World's Coolest Museum? Mexico City  Mexico
Museo Nacional de Antropología Mexico City  Mexico
Museo Nacional de Antropología Mexico City  Mexico
Museo Nacional de Antropología Mexico City  Mexico
Mayans and Aztecs and Olmecs... Oh My! Mexico City  Mexico
Museo Nacional de Antropología: The World's Coolest Museum? Mexico City  Mexico
Museo Nacional de Antropología
Housed in a 1964 structure whose modern lines and central fountain greatly complement what's on view, this anthropology museum is a repository of the most important pre-Hispanic treasures modern Mexico has discovered. The works are displayed in exhibits that trace the entire history of the Americas’ indigenous population, from the Bering migration to the present day. Exhaustive (and sometimes exhausting) in scope, many visitors choose to jump ahead to “greatest-hits” galleries focusing on name brands like the Aztecs (to see their misnamed calendar stone); the Maya and their artifacts; or the Olmec culture, famed for its colossal (and quite sensual) head sculptures dating back to Mesoamerica’s earliest recorded eras.

Museo Nacional de Antropología
This stellar and wide-ranging collection of history and culture is housed in a building that is gracefully suited to its purpose: Two-story galleries, each focused on the art and history of different regions of Mexico, are arranged around a central courtyard. At the head of the courtyard, a tall pillar supports a roof from which water falls, splashing directly on the pavement, as though rain is falling inside the canopy of a tree. This extraordinary fountain sets a mood for the museumgoer, conveying the elemental and mysterious mythology of many of the objects held here. At the end of the courtyard, past terraced pools and bamboo gardens, the museum’s showpiece gallery is dedicated to the Mexica people, the rulers of the Aztec Empire, and the section's architecture, with the monumental doorless portal from the courtyard and the use of stone ramps and stepped pedestals inside, reflects the designs of that civilization’s pyramids and temples. The extensive and dramatic pieces on display here include the carved stone disk of the Aztec calendar (the Piedra del Sol) as well as the monolithic sculptures, braziers, urns, and snakes that decorated the temples. Not to mention some chilling skulls and offerings recovered from sites where human sacrifices had been made. Walking back up the ramp and through the portal to return to the intense light of the courtyard, you would be forgiven for feeling like you’d just arrived back in the present having time-traveled from a cruel and beautiful past, ruled by serpents and eagles and warrior kings. 

Museo Nacional de Antropología
My wife and I traveled through Mexico for over a month, visiting the fabulous ruins of the Toltecs, Aztecs, Maya, Olmecs, and so on, and staying in beautiful colonial towns absorbing the cultures of each region. We traveled central and southern Mexico from Aguascalientes to Chiapas along the Gulf Coast and returned north through Oaxaca, finishing up in Mexico City. One of the last places we visited was the Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City. Everything we experienced on our trip came together under one roof—was the perfect finishing touch to an amazing journey.

Mayans and Aztecs and Olmecs... Oh My!
During a business trip to Mexico City, I had a lunch hour (or two) to peruse the Museo Nacional de Antropología and took full advantage. As recommended, I picked up the audio guide in English and wandered the Teotihuacan exhibit in preparation for a day trip to the ruins outside of Mexico City. There was still time to check out the Aztec and Mayan exhibits and see a giant Olmec head sculpture. This is definitely a museum to spend a day in!

Museo Nacional de Antropología: The World's Coolest Museum?
Mexico City’s Museo Nacional de Antropología is hands-down one of the world’s coolest national history museums. Other travelers agree. It’s the highest recommended Mexico City attraction on TripAdvisor, nabbing more than 2,200 “excellent” ratings. The thoughtfully laid out museum tells the stories of civilizations that called Mexico home way before the Spanish arrived. Plan to spend at least a few hours exploring the expansive collection of relics, statues, and personal artifacts.

Paseo de la Reforma & Calzada Gandhi S/N, Chapultepec Polanco, Miguel Hidalgo, 11560 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
+52 55 4040 5370
Tue - Sun 9am - 7pm
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