Tepotzotlan is one of Mexico's "Pueblos Magicos" or Magic Towns. Tepotzotlan was an important center during the Aztecs' reign and then it became a major educational center during the colonial period when the Jesuits established the College of San Francisco Javier. This was an important religious, educational and cultural center from 1580-1914. After the Jesuits were expelled from Mexico, the Catholic Church took it over, and then in 1964 the Mexican government took the convent/monastery, educational center and the church, restored them and turned all of it into a museum. This museum named Museo del Virreinato (Museum of the Colonial Period), occupies the former monastery, educational center and church, and houses one of the largest collections of liturgical and religious art, as well as many other artifacts, from the colonial period.
|These paintings line the hallways and are all religious themes.|
|One of the patios|
|I took this picture in one of the smaller chapels.|
|I cheated - I didn't take this picture because the church was closed. Impressive.|
It takes a minimum of 90 minutes, going at a brisk pace and not dawdling, to go through the convent, its gardens, patios and to take in all the artwork. You could easily spend hours there. I lost Arturo after 10 minutes as I'm a dawdler, but so is my brother-in-law Alfonso, so we went at our own pace. Much later we found Arturo and his mom, somewhat bored, waiting for us. Arturo made the major mistake of asking us if we saw the library (which we had somehow missed), so off Alfonso and I went for another 45 minute tour of the library and the third floor which we had previously skipped. The third floor has the history of the nuns and their portraits. I didn't know that a nun could get her "crown" only if she or her family could raise enough money to pay for it. During the colonial period that cost was about $3000 so it was mostly the nuns from the wealthy families who were crowned. The picture at the bottom shows one of the lucky ones.
|Part of the pharmacy|
|This isn't the bull that escaped but it is the largest bulls I've seen.|
|My mother-in-law and Alfonso|