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MUSEO FRANZ MAYER: A Treasured Legacy in Mexico City

by planetnomad on June 22, 2011

Few cities in the world can claim as many museums as Mexico City. When lists are floated around highlighting the various cultural heavy-hitters, it’s invariably included as one of the tops. Sure, the per-capita figures will not seem impressive because of the excessive population here, but there’s no doubt culture geeks and aficionados can spend days in this city and still not visit every museum.

Whether you have an interest in Mexico’s revolutionary period, its indigenous groups, the prominent artists to hail from here or, even vintage toys, there’s a place where the archives are held, the collections are contained and the exhibits displayed.

One museum where you can spend large amounts of time combing through the exhibits and appreciating its substantial collections is the Franz Mayer Museum.

Located a bit northwest of the historic center, near the Alameda Park, this museum’s collection was a philanthropic gift by the late Franz Mayer who originally came to live in Mexico City from Mannheim, Germany. While making a prosperous living as a financier, Mayer managed to satisfy his passion for rare books and a sizeable number of both Mexican and European decorative arts. His collection contains in excess of 10,000 pieces of vintage ceramics, textiles, paintings, silver and furniture, as well as 22,000 books including over 800 editions of the rare Don Quixote.

"Bijoux, Fantasías en Moda y Joyería" a temporary exhibit of the Barbara Berger Collection

Though the building where all these great treasures are found was not gifted by Mayer, it still has a storied history of its own. It was built in the 16th century and originally was utilized as “La Casa del Peso de la Harina”, a flour weighing and processing facility. Later, it would become a hospital and serve this function for many years; in 1981 Mayer’s Trusteeship acquired possession. Then, in June of 1986 it opened its doors as a museum.

From that time until the present, the public has enjoyed viewing the permanent collections found on two levels, as well as a central courtyard, a library, and additional space which occasionally plays host to traveling art and photography exhibits.

Because it’s not often that a world-class city is the recipient of one man’s vast treasured collections, this museum is a must-stop even during the shortest time spent in Mexico City.


Hidalgo 45
Centro Histórico
Mexico City, D.F. 06300
Nearest Metro stops:  Bellas Artes and Hidalgo

Tue-Fri 10-5PM
Sat-Sun 11-6PM
Summer Hours (Same except for Sat & Sun)
Sat & Sun 11-7PM, starting the first weekend in April through the end of Oct

Admission costs (in pesos)
General:  $45
Students & faculty:  $25
Adults 60+ & children under 12:  FREE
On Tuesdays:  FREE TO PUBLIC


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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jenna June 27, 2011 at 8:56 am

Wow! That looks like an interesting museum, and the building is beautiful, too.

planetnomad June 28, 2011 at 11:33 pm

Jenna, the Franz Mayer is definitely in the top tier of museums in DF! I highly recommend it along with the Museo Nacional de Antropología…both are must-sees while there. Thanks for your visit!

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