Guadalajara's most important museum tells the story of the city and the surrounding region, somewhat haphazardly, from prehistory to the revolution. Displays are appealing, though signage is in Spanish only. The ground floor houses a natural history collection whose unwitting star is an impressive woolly mammoth skeleton dating from 10,000 BC. Other crowd-pleasers include multimedia displays about indigenous life and a superb collection of pre-Hispanic ceramics and other artifacts taken from a shaft tomb in the nearby Guachimontones Archaeological Site.
The upper level of the museum is devoted to colonial paintings depicting the Spanish conquest, as well as more austere religious allegories, a revolutionary wing and exhibits showcasing the indigenous Huichol (or Wixarika) culture. The 19th century building is worth visiting for its architecture – a gorgeous, tree-studded double courtyard with a fountain acts as its centerpiece.