Fodor's Expert Review Instituto Cultural Cabañas
Financed by Bishop Juan Ruiz de Cabañas and constructed by Spanish architect-sculptor Manuel Tolsá, this neoclassical-style cultural center, also known as Hospicio Cabañas, was originally opened in 1810 as a shelter for widows, orphans, and the elderly. The Instituto's 106 rooms and 23 flower-filled patios now house art exhibitions (ask for an English-speaking guide). The main chapel displays murals by José Clemente Orozco, including The Man of Fire, his masterpiece. In all, there are 57 murals by Orozco, plus many of his smaller paintings, cartoons, and drawings. Kids can wonder at the murals, some which appear as optical illusions, and investigate the labyrinthine compound. The center, named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997, is closed Monday.