Canton Palace and Anthropology Museum 

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Canton Palace and Anthropology Museum 

Though today, Paseo de Montejo is one of the most important avenues in Merida, it used to be the only avenue in Merida and the road where the richest families then chose to build their mansions. One can spend half a day just walking down it and looking at the buildings from the first few decades of the 20th century, one more astonishing than the next. It’s no surprise, then, that this is where you find the Canton Palace, which houses the Regional Anthropology Museum. It’s hard to decide whether the sculptures within it are more interesting than the building itself.

Where is the Canton Palace and Anthropology Museum located?

The Palacio Canton is located only three blocks from the avenue’s starting point, marked by the father-and-son monument to the Montejos, the founders of the city. It’s right next door to another pair of famous buildings, The Twin Houses, built by the same architect.

The Canton Palace

Built during the golden age of the henequen industry at the turn of the 20th century, like most buildings in the Paseo de Montejo Avenue, the Canton Palace was heavily influenced by the Parisian architecture of the time. Ordered in 1898 by a local politician, and finished in 1911, this is an actual palace, with marble floors, decorated ceilings, columns, and even an elevator.

He only occupied it for a few years before his death, though, after which it was sold to the state. Since then, this palace has housed different state institutions, such as the school of fine arts and anthropology. It has been a full-time museum since the 1960s.

The Anthropology Museum

If you’re planning to visit the Riviera Maya, Merida is a great place to start, especially if your trip includes some Mayan Ruins. With sculptures, maps, and a general wealth of information, the Anthropology Museum covers much of the history of the ancient Mayan civilization. It’s a treat to learn about the Mayan ruins before you set foot on them.

Because of all this, the Canton Palace and Anthropology Museum is unique in that it houses a giant chunk of Yucatan’s history—from the ancient civilizations to the 20th century—under one roof.