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“Three amazing attractions in one - but bring a Spanish-Eng dictionary”

Museo Nacional de las Intervenciones
Ranked #109 of 535 things to do in Mexico City
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Owner description: This museum features exhibits on the history of military conquests by foreign nations in Mexico.
Reviewed May 12, 2010

This museum is actually three attractions in one - it's a beautiful ancient monastery, a fascinating museum and the site of the Battle of Churubusco.

Based in Coyoacan in the south of the city, it is surrounded by high stone walls. First you tour the monastery. You see the huge kitchens, the vast kiln with blackened sides, the long dining hall and the spartan cells where the monks slept.

Upstairs houses the Interventions Museum which is an interesting but ultimately frustrating experience. It deals with the decades of foreign invasion and interference by France, the US and Spanish in the 19th century. Incredible if you didn't know the story, is the map showing how the US took 55% of Mexican territory in 1847 - six whole states including California and Texas!

What's frustrating is none of it is in English - wouldn't this be a good idea considering it's about the shared history of the US and Mexico? - a lot of it is badly lit so hard to read, and some exhibits are badly curated, with incomplete labelling.

However, there is still much to see, albeit it needs some TLC, not least you can learn about the St Patrick's Battalion, mainly Irish soldiers who deserted from the US Army to fight for the Mexicans, and look at the artefacts (including Benito Juarez's carriage) the flags, treaties, documents and photos, and the beautiful gardens and architecture of the monastery.
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