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National Museum of Anthropology – Mexico City – Part One

Anthropology Museum, Mexico City, January 2017

The National Museum of Anthropology is a national museum of Mexico and my biggest regret is not leaving more time to immerse myself in this amazing Museum.  It is the largest and most visited museum in Mexico. Located in the area between Paseo de la Reforma and Mahatma Gandhi Street within Chapultepec Park in Mexico City, the museum contains significant archaeological and anthropological artifacts from Mexico’s pre-Columbian heritage, such as the Stone of the Sun (or the Aztec calendar stone) and the Aztec Xochipilli statue.

The museum (along with many other Mexican national and regional museums) is managed by the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (National Institute of Anthropology and History), or INAH.

Assessments of the museum vary, with one considering it “a national treasure and a symbol of identity. The museum is the synthesis of an ideological, scientific, and political feat.” Octavio Paz criticized the museum’s making the Mexica (Aztec) hall central, saying the “exaltation and glorification of Mexico-Tenochtitlan transforms the Museum of Anthropology into a temple.”

The Central Courtyard Umbrella
Designed in 1964 by Pedro Ramírez Vázquez, Jorge Campuzano, and Rafael Mijares Alcérreca, the monumental building contains exhibition halls surrounding a courtyard with a huge pond and a vast square concrete umbrella supported by a single slender pillar (known as “el paraguas”, Spanish for “the umbrella”). The halls are ringed by gardens, many of which contain outdoor exhibits. The museum has 23 rooms for exhibits and covers an area of 79,700 square meters (almost 8 hectares) or 857,890 square feet (almost 20 acres).

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/mexico/mexico-city/attractions/museo-nacional-de-antropologia/a/poi-sig/375915/361544

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  1. This is a most extraordinary museum and I smiled when I saw your article headed Part 1. You could lose yourself within it’s monumental walls for days exploring the different sections and exhibits. A friend, so exhausted after 4 hours and covering only a small area, fell asleep on the low wall surrounding the internal pond, in the sun. Locals boast that it the second best museum in the world. Second? I’m guessing the British Museum is the first.

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      I know, we totally underestimated the size and depth and didn’t leave enough time to see it all. If I had one tip for Mexico City it would be to NOT miss a visit to this wonderful museum and leave a few days.x

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