Cultural Centers, Museums, Theaters & Cinema in Puebla
The Museo Amparo (Amparo Museum) is housed in two colonial-era buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries that were popularly known as El Hospitalito. One was the Hospital of San Juan de Letrán, which was converted into a college for women. The other is a mansion from the 18th century.
It was joined to the hospital and then became the “Deposito de Mujeres Casadas” (Refuge of Married Women) This was established in 1606 for women whose husbands were gone for long periods of time. However, the idea was not popular with women and in 1609, it became the asylum for “lost women,” those obligated to be secluded for some reason.
This facility was moved to another building and the building became part of the women’s college founded next door, then a convent. The museum has fourteen exhibition halls with pottery, steles, and sculptures from the Zapotec, Huasteca, Maya, Olmec and Aztec cultures as well as fine furniture and religious objects from the colonial period and examples of contemporary art.
These represent the three epochs of Mexican history, pre-Columbian, colonial-era and post-Independence. Seven of the halls are dedicated to pre-Columbian pieces.
The Biblioteca Palafoxiana (Palafoxiana Library) was established in 1646 by Juan de Palafox y Mendoza for the Seminary of Puebla. He donated his own collection of 5,000 books to the College of San Juan to start the collection. It was the first library in the Americas and is the only one to survive to the present day.
The main room is in Baroque style and was constructed in 1773 by Bishop Francisco Fabian y Fuero who also named the institution after Palafox. Today the library contains over 42,000 books, 5,000 manuscripts, and other items, which date from 1473 to 1910. The Library was named a Historic Monument of Mexico (Monumento Histórico de México) and UNESCO has made it part of Memory of the World.
Centro Cultural Santa Rosa
The Centro Cultural Santa Rosa is housed in a building that dates from the 17th century which originally was housing for Dominican nuns. Later, it became a convent named in honor of Saint Rose of Lima. This is where the story of the invention of mole poblano takes place. In 1869, it ceased being a convent and became a psychiatric hospital.
In the 20th century, the Ceramic Museum was founded in the building’s kitchen, with the rest of the building occupied as tenements for about 1500 people. In 1973, the Museo de Arte Cultural Poblano was founded and in 2000 the name was changed to the current one. The facility offers exhibitions, shows, and art classes.
Museum of the Revolution
The Museo de la Revolución (Museum of the Revolution) was the home of Aquiles Serdán in the very early 20th century. He was politically active in the anti-reelection (of President Porfirio Diaz) movement of the time and was accused of distributing propaganda against Díaz. Police assaulted the building and Serdán and his family fought back until Aquiles was killed.
President Francisco I. Madero stayed at the home in honor of Serdán. Shortly thereafter, the family moved to Mexico City and the building became tenements and stores. Decades later, the federal government acquired the building from the family to convert it into the museum that is here today.
Fort Loreto & Fort Guadalupe
Fort Loreto and Fort Guadalupe are located in the Centro Civico 5 de Mayo part of the city. Both were instrumental to the Battle of Puebla on 5 May 1862. The chapel of the Loreto fort contains a former chapel, which is now the Museo de la No Intervención (Museum of Non-Intervention).
This is to commemorate a non-aggression pact signed by Mexico and Central American and two South American countries in the 1960s. The Museo de Guerra del Fuerte (Fort War Museum) de Loreto y Guadalupe is located in this fort as well. This museum contains cannons, shotguns, swords, documents, and other objects related to this battle.
Gallery of Contemporary Art and Design
The Galería de Arte Contemporáneo y Diseño (Gallery of Contemporary Art and Design) is dedicated to visual arts such as painting, sculpture, ceramics, metal etching, photography, video, and others and belongs to the Secretary of Culture of the state of Puebla.
It is housed in the old La Violeta textile factory, which dates back to 1908, and was one only the many factories in this area at that time. This building was renovated between 1995 and 1998 for this museum.
José Mariano Bello y Acedo Museum
The Museo de José Mariano Bello y Acedo (José Mariano Bello y Acedo Museum) was initially founded with the private collection of the Bello family, along with works donated by friends. It originally began as a private museum or pinacotheca. Upon José Mariano’s death, the house and collection were bequeathed to the city.
Casa de Alfeñique
The Casa de Alfeñique is named for the intricate mortar work that covers its façade. Alfeñique is a kind of sugar and almond candy. It was constructed by Antonio Santamaría de Incháurregui for Juan Ignacio Morales, who was a master ironsmith. The façades also contain ironwork balconies, cornices, and a crown.
The house was left to the state by Alejandro Ruiz Olavarrieta in 1896. It was first used to house the first public museum in the city of Puebla. The collection contains more than 1,500 pieces of a historical nature.
Museum of Art
The Museo de Arte (Museum of Art) originally was constructed to be the Temple of San Pedro, founded in 1541 to be a church and a hospital.
Eventually, it was established as the Hospital of San Pedro y San Pablo under the direction of the Cathedral of Tlaxcala. It was functioning as a hospital by 1544, but it incurred major expenditures, forcing it to limit service to men only.
The arches of the main courtyard were completed in 1640, as well as its fountain and nursing units. In the first half of the 18th century, the hospital ceased to be under the direct control of the Cathedral, passing to the monks of the order of San Juan de Dios.
In the latter half of the century, it began to house soldiers in order to improve its finances. The hospital underwent major reforms in the early 19th century to improve medical care and began to receive medical students from the Medical-Surgical Academy of Puebla.
- In 1867, the facility became the Hospital General del Estado.
- In 1917, the hospital moved to new facilities in the city. Throughout most of the 20th century, the building was used for a wide variety of purposes.
- In 1998, a project to restore the building for its use was the Puebla Museum of Viceregal Art.
- In 2002, this museum was converted into the San Pedro Museum of Art, which exhibits works from various epochs.
Museum Workshop of Erasto Cortés Juárez
The Museum Workshop of Erasto Cortés Juárez was the home of one of the major figures in fine and graphic arts in Puebla in the 20th century. The museum was founded in 2000 and contains more than 400 pieces of both his work and personal effects.
The museum also hosts temporary exhibits, workshops, and seminars