Museo Nacional de Antropología, Ciudad de México

Meanwhile, over at the magnificent Museo Nacional de Antropología, truly one of the world’s great museums, is the most comprehensive collection of ‘Pre-Cortesian’ (Hernán Cortés) history, dating back to 1790 when the great 24 tonne Aztec Sun Stone was uncovered at the base of the Metropolitan Cathedral. 

The Museum is packed with the most important archaeological and ethnographical collections in Mexico, and at 20 acres in size, it’s huge! It’s also one of my favourite buildings. Designed by architect Pedro Ramírez Vázquez between 1963 and 1964 its central plaza has a stupendous floating roof, held up effortlessly by a vast richly patterned column, water cascading from above to dramatically cool the air. The building was designed in the style of open Mayan forums and ceremonial centres, with the column decoration and the surrounding courtyard referencing ancient pre-Hispanic symbols and patterns. 

Here you’ll find treasures from all of Mexico’s cultures, but of particular interest to me is of course the vast Aztec Sala, which is packed with the most incredible objects and archaeological finds. We’ve been to this museum a number of times over the years, and each time we’re here we’re struck with the incredible sophistication of these ancient civilisations – sure, there’s the blood-thirsty aspect to the Aztecs, which is hard to get past, but it’s how they lived, the advanced technologies that they used in everyday life (running water) their incredible understanding of the cosmos and the universe and the staggering beauty of their grand architecture but also of small domestic items.

It’s hard to square with what Hernán Cortés and his Spanish Conquistadores did to the civilisations of Mexico – obliterating them in the name of the so-called true religion. 

One Comment Add yours

  1. Bevanlee says:

    Got to love Christians. The sanctimonious destruction they have wrought throughout the world in the name of the Galilean tooth fairy. 🙄


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