About Museo Regional de Oaxaca
Museo Regional de Oaxaca – sometimes known as the Museum of Oaxacan Culture – was founded in 1831, in the then convent of San Pablo.
History of Museo Regional de Oaxaca
Today, the museum is housed in the church of Santo Domingo: building was begun in 1576, and not fully complete until the 18th century. Santo Domingo has a varied history, having being used as barracks in the late 19th century, before being restored to religious use, and later being converted for use by the university, and later, in the 1970s, the Museo Regional de Oaxaca moved in to the cloisters. A massive refurbishment project was completed subsequently.
Today, it is this Oaxaca’s main museum, chronicling the history of the identically named state and city. The ethnobotanical garden is also an excellent chronicle of native plants, and remains a popular place to visit.
Museo Regional de Oaxaca today
The main draw at Museo Regional de Oaxaca is its collection of finds from Monte Alban, a nearby archaeological area and one of Mexico’s most impressive pre-Columbian historic sites. The highlights are mainly the treasures from a 14th century Mixtec royal tomb (Tomb 7) which were re-discovered in 1932.
Aside from this, the museum also charts the rich history and cultures of the whole state of Oaxaca, from pre-Hispanic societies such as the Zapotecs and Mixtecs right up until the present day as well as the history of resistance to colonisation and conquest.
The whole complex of Santo Domingo is also not to be missed: full of Renaissance architectural features and ornate interior decorations, as well as a 30,000 strong library.
Much of the museum’s text is in Spanish: English audio guides are available for a small extra fee.
Be sure to check out the ornately decorated interior of the church, which is covered in over 60,000 sheets of 23.5 carat gold.
Getting to Museo Regional de Oaxaca
The museum is in the heart of Oaxaca city, and is most easily accessed by foot. The centre of the city is relatively compact, and the museum is within a 10 minute walk of almost all other sites in the city.