The Ex-Convent of San Agustin | Attraction Guides | History Hit

The Ex-Convent of San Agustin

Acolman, Mexico, Mexico

Sarah Roller

24 Nov 2020
Image Credit: ARMANDOOLIVO / Shutterstock.

About The Ex-Convent of San Agustin

El Templo y Ex-Convento de San Agustin is a sixteenth century historic church and former convent in the village of Acolman, close to Mexico City.

History of the Ex-Convent of San Agustin

Begun by Fray Andres de Olmos in 1524, the convent was ceded to the Augustinian order in 1536: the building was complete by 1560. The site was part of a mass scale attempts to convert indigenous populations to Catholicism, and remains an important monument to these attempts.

The convent was flooded several times in the 17th and 18th century by water from the nearby Lake Texcoco, and the site was abandoned shortly afterwards by the friars as the constant loss of work as a result was a source of frustration.

For much of the 19th century, the complex was mostly under a thick layer of mud: it was only in 1920 that the Mexican General Inspection of Artistic and Historical Monuments decided to rescue the site and turn it into a museum: a wide variety of pre-Hispanic and Christian items are on display, and the murals remain a particular draw for many.

The Ex-Convent of San Agustin today

The convent is open to the public and is pretty off the tourist trail – you may well get it to yourself. The murals are a particular highlight for many, particularly if you’re interested in art history. Free guided tours run from time to time – check precise timings and dates in advance.

Getting to the Ex-Convent of San Agustin

The convent is close to the site of Teotihuacan, just off Ruta 132: many visitors combine the two. It can be reached by public bus from Mexico City or via Uber/taxi.

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