Museum of Colonial Art (Museo de Arte Colonial)
The Museum of Colonial Art (Museo de Arte Colonial) is known for its extensive collection of sculptures, paintings, and furniture from the 16th to 18th centuries. The museum is housed inside the former University of San Carlos, a beautiful colonial building situated right in front of the cathedral, in the heart of Antigua, Guatemala.
Established in 1936, the Museum of Colonial Art displays works by Guatemalan and Mexican artists from the colonial era. Highlights include paintings depicting the Passion of Christ by Tomás de Merlo, pieces by Juan de Correa and Miguel Cabrera, and architectural exhibits dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries. The museum building itself is a piece of art and features some of the classic architectural designs from the colonial history of the 1800s.
Things to Know Before You Go
The Museum of Colonial Art is a must-see for art and architecture lovers.
Buy your tickets ahead of time to avoid waiting in line at the ticket booth.
Expect to spend about an hour exploring the exhibits.
The museum is not accessible to wheelchair users.
How to Get There
The Museum of Colonial Art is located across the street from Central Park (Parque Central), in the center of Antigua. If you’re staying in town, it’s an easy walk to the museum. Antigua is 25 miles (40 kilometers) southwest of Guatemala City, a 75- to 90-minute drive.
When to Get There
The museum is from 9am to 4pm Tuesday through Sunday (it’s closed from 12pm to 2pm on weekends), and there isn't really a bad time to visit. During the week, it frequently hosts school and educational visits, but even then is rarely crowded.
Nearby Central Park
Before exploring the Museum of Colonial Art, start off the day at Antigua’s popular Central Park. This tranquil, tree-lined park is the perfect spot to sit or stroll and observe the day-to-day goings-on in the city. Soak up views of the cathedral and Agua Volcano, and be sure to check out the fountain, a replica of the original built by Diego de Porres in 1738.
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- Catedral de Santiago (Antigua Cathedral)
- Jade Factory and Museum (Jade Maya)
- Palace of the Captains General (Palacio de los Capitanes Generales)
- Antigua Central Park (Parque Central)
- ChocoMuseo Antigua
- Santa Catalina Arch (Arco de Santa Catalina)
- Church of San Francisco (Iglesia de San Francisco)
- Las Capuchinas (Convento de Las Capuchinas)
- Antigua City Hall (Palacio del Ayuntamiento)
- Casa Santo Domingo (Monasterio de Santo Domingo)
- La Merced Church (Iglesia de la Merced)
- Cerro de la Cruz (Hill of the Cross)
- Pacaya Volcano