The Museum of the Old Franciscan Convent of Santa Ana in Tzintzuntzan is found on the grounds next to the two churches that were showcased in parts one and two of this series. This, my fellow travelers, was the highlight of this day (but there was still more to come that I wasn’t yet aware of).
The convent was built between the 16th and 17th centuries, the first convent in Michoacan state in a baroque style architecture with a Muslim influence.
The convent was built by the Franciscan Order and created for the conversion of the indigenous Purepecha peoples that lived in this area of Mexico. The photo above is just one of many wonderful frescoes that will be shown here on this post that are on the walls of the corridors of the convent.
The convent fell in to poor condition due to weather exposure, earthquake damage, and poor maintenance due to little funding for upkeep. Parts of the convent were abandoned at one time, there were several walls and sections of roof that had collapsed. Frescoes were weather-worn or painted over, but are being brought back as best as possible. The frescoes I will show here I’ve tried to lighten up only so they can be seen, but I added no more color, and present them as best as possible as I saw them; some are restored more than others.
A well restored fresco, or possibly a recent addition, but it didn’t surprise me that this beautiful painting was here of the Mexican’s beloved Virgen de Guadalupe.
In 2003, a conservation plan was adopted by the state’s chapter of Adopt a Work of Art program, that began restorations in earnest. As much as possible was done with that funding.
The convent at one time also housed a hospital and served other functions. It is now dedicated to the exhibition of archeological and colonial era artifacts and regional crafts.
A traditional kitchen was presented in two of the rooms of the museum with molcajetes (mortar and pestle to grind tomato and chiles to make salsa) metates (to smooth out the masa, or dough, to make tortillas), a large earthen comal (griddle) and various other utensils were displayed. The museum is now maintained by the people of the town.
There were another couple of rooms displaying regional dress and pottery also
This was a post filled with a lot of photos, I hope you’ve enjoyed them. Next week I’ll take you to our next stop for the day, an archeological site with Yacatas (pyramid-type structures found in this region).
As always, thank you for traveling with me on Sundays.