Museo de las Culturas de Oaxaca
Templo de Santo Domingo
Gorgeous Santo Domingo is the most splendid of Oaxaca’s churches, with a finely carved baroque facade and nearly every square centimeter...
Instituto de Artes Gráficas de Oaxaca
In a beautiful colonial house, IAGO offers changing exhibitions of graphic art as well as a superb arts library open to all for...
A leading serious commercial gallery, handling some of the biggest names, such as Francisco Toledo and Guillermo Olguín. It has a second...
Squeeze into this quirky little tasting room for the perfect mezcal primer. Friendly bar staff will explain all about the three...
Casa Oaxaca restaurant works magic combining Oaxacan and other ingredients in original and delectable ways. You might go for the chilies...
Alcalá · interesting places nearby
Museo de las Culturas de Oaxaca information
The Museum of Oaxacan Cultures, housed in the beautiful monastery buildings adjoining the Templo de Santo Domingo, is one of Mexico's best regional museums. The rich displays take you right through the history and cultures of Oaxaca state up to the present day, emphasizing the continuity between pre-Hispanic and contemporary cultures in areas such as crafts, medicine and food.
A gorgeous stone cloister serves as antechamber to the museum proper. The greatest treasure is the Mixtec hoard from Tomb 7 at Monte Albán, in Room III (the first on the right upstairs). This dates from the 14th century, when Mixtecs reused an old Zapotec tomb at Monte Albán to bury one of their kings and his sacrificed servants, along with a stash of beautifully worked silver, turquoise, coral, jade, amber, pearls, finely carved bone, crystal goblets, a skull covered in turquoise, and a lot of gold. The treasure was discovered in 1932 by Alfonso Caso.
Halls I to IV are devoted to the pre-Hispanic period, halls V to VIII to the colonial period, halls IX to XIII to Oaxaca in the independence era and after, and the final room (XIV) to Santo Domingo Monastery itself. At the end of the long corridor past hall IX, glass doors give a view into the beautifully ornate choir of the Templo de Santo Domingo.
Surprisingly, the museum’s explanatory material is in Spanish only. Also here is a good book-and-souvenir shop.