On Paseo Montejo at the corner of Calle 43 in the Santa Ana neighborhood you’ll notice an emblematic Mérida building. This palace was built 100 years ago, as the residence for General Francisco Cantón Rosado, well-known politician, entrepreneur, and military man. On two occasions he was the governor of Yucatán, during the henequén production bonanza and the development of the railway, both of which contributed to the economic growth of our state. This mansion is a clear example of the economic boom experienced by some families in the state of Yucatán. The building was named “Palacio Cantón.”
During the years after the death of General Cantón, the building has had different uses. It was the School of Fine Arts, Hidalgo School and Shelter, residence of various governors, Public Library, and Museum of Archaeology of the Yucatecan Institute of Anthropology and History. Currently Palacio Cantón houses the Regional Museum of Anthropology, a dependent of INAH (National Institute of Anthropology and History).
The Permanent Exhibit is on the lower floor of the museum, where nearly 1000 items are on display, product of the archaeological investigations carried out in the interior of the state. Each one of these objects is a source of information about the history of our ancestors. Among the pieces on display are stone sculptures and pieces made from jade, shell, bone, ceramic, copper, gold, etc.
The Temporary Exhibits are on the upper floor, where various themes can be found. During the year 2012, in which the Centennial of Palacio Cantón is commemorated, there is a special exhibit “The Palace of General Cantón – One Hundred Years of History” which features a series of photos including the building’s construction, the life of the Cantón family, images of the building’s different uses and various occupants who have lived there, as well as furnishings from past eras and items belonging to the Cantón family and General Francisco Cantón in particular.
The Museo Palacio Cantón brings visitors closer to an understanding of the pre-Hispanic Maya culture; for this reason both national and international visitors visit the museum, as well as the local and regional population: to admire its architecture, its décor, to enjoy the exhibits and collections, or even to reflect on the various stages of our regional history.
Hours: 8 am – 5 pm. Closed Mondays.
Entry $90 pesos.
Free entry for students, teachers and over 60 (with official ID). Sundays free for Mexican nationals.
Museo Regional de Antropología “Palacio Cantón”
Paseo Montejo #485 x 43, Centro, Mérida
Tel. 999 923 0557
FB: Museo Palacio Cantón
Photography by Juan Manuel Mier and Terán and Laura Pasos for use in Yucatán Today.
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