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Fodor's See It Mexico, 3rd Edition
Ex-Convento del Carmen
Ex-Convento del Carmen Review
Erected by Carmelite friars with the help of an Indian chieftain between 1615 and 1628, this church, with its domes, fountains, and gardens, was never actually a convent, despite its name. Though some locals might tell you otherwise, nuns never actually lived here. It's one of the most interesting examples of colonial religious architecture in this part of the city, and it has always been an important place for meeting and socializing. The church still operates, but part of it has been converted to Museo Regional del Carmen, with a fine collection of 16th- to 18th-century religious paintings and icons. Another museum area, the well-designed Novohispana, illustrates life in New Spain with work by early colonial artisans and trade guilds. This exhibit has a separate entrance at the back. It's also worth visiting the 12 mummified corpses tucked away in the crypt.
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