About Ex-Convent de Churubusco
The former Monastery of Churubusco, translated in Spanish as Ex-Convent de Churubusco, is a 17th century building and was the site of fierce battle between Mexican and American forces during the nineteenth century Mexican-American War.
Ex-Convent de Churubusco history
The battle, which took place on 20 August 1847, saw the Mexicans fighting to protect the Monastery of Churubusco from US troops. The Mexicans were defeated and the Americans took Ex-Convent de Churubusco and eventually conquered Mexico City.
The US invasion was but one example in a long history of foreign intervention in Mexico, as compellingly demonstrated in Churubusco’s Museo Nacional de las Intervenciones.
The building was erected in the 17th century on a temple built by the Dieguino fathers, which in turn had been built where a Franciscan hermitage existed since 1524. During pre-Hispanic times this site was an indigenous site called Teopanzolco, “place of the old temple”, dedicated to the god Huitzilopochtli.
From 1846 to 1848, during the US invasion of Mexico, the Mexican military used it as a fortress to resist enemy troops.
Some years later, the building functioned as a military hospital for contagious patients and was subsequently abandoned for a long time, until the Historical Museum of Transport was inaugurated in 1933.
Fittingly, Ex-Convent de Churubusco today houses the city’s National Museum of the Interventions, dedicated to exploring the history of foreign intervention in Mexico.
Ex-Convent de Churubusco today
The Ex-Convent de Churubusco museum deals mostly with 19th century conflicts, including the French occupation of the 1860’s and the Mexican-American War. The Monastery of Churubusco provides a beautiful backdrop, with many of its rooms having been restored and its gardens adding a serene dimension to the experience.
The Museum of Interventions tells the story of foreign interventions in Mexico. There are old flags and all kinds of weapons that tell visitors about the different battles that resisted the walls of the Ex Convent, which still has some bullet holes in its façade.
Unfortunately for English speaking visitors, there is no translation on any of the exhibits.
Getting to Ex-Convent de Churubusco
The nearest stations is General Anaya metro (Blue Line 2, Taxqueña-Cuatro Caminos). From there go out to Calle 20 de Agosto and the site is to the west.