“The mummy museum!”
The Mummies of Guanajuato, Mexico have a sad, but interesting history that dates back to a cholera outbreak 1833. About 30 years after the outbreak, the city cemetery was filling up so quickly that room was starting to become a serious issue, and in an attempt to fix the problem, Guanajuato enacted a tax that demanded families pay up in order to keep their deceased relative buried. The tax cost a one time fee of 170 pesos, or 50 pesos a year for three years. Unfortunately, most people either couldn't afford it or didn't care, resulting in 90 percent of the graves being disinterred. So, what do you do with a bunch of dug up, dead bodies? Guanajuato just shoved them into a local building for storage. As word spread that the building had a whole stack of naturally mummified corpses hiding inside, tourists began to slowly filter into the city hoping to catch a glimpse of the morbid storage room. The cemetery workers, looking to capitalize on the growing popularity of their stiffs, started charging a few pesos for people to enter their creepy corpse warehouse. The idea caught on in such a big way that it was eventually turned into an official museum named The Museo De Las Momias, or The Mummies' Museum. In 1958, a law was passed that banned the disinterment of dead bodies, but by that point the museum was so popular that it was grandfathered in, and got to keep its display of death. The Mummies' Museum only solidified its place in Mexican tourism after the 1970's film Santo Versus the Mummies of Guanajuato was released, a movie that centered around Santo, a famous luchador, as he battled the museum's mummies, which had magically returned to life. It's just as awesome as it sounds (and he also goes on to fight some vampires, martians, and other monsters in future films). Today, the Mummies' Museum remains one of the most popular tourist attractions in the entire country, and contains 108 corpses of various sizes and age, including the smallest mummy in the world, a fetus from a woman who fell victim to the cholera outbreak. The creepiest mummy, however, is that of Ignacia Alguilar, a woman who was later discovered to have been buried alive. In the midst of cholera outbreaks, the dead were buried as quickly as possible in order to help prevent the spread of the awful disease. It wasn't uncommon for the dead to be buried within a day of their passing. As you might imagine, lack of medical knowledge and a short window of time led to a few...oopsies. Ignacia was one of them. Ignacia Aguilar had a peculiar, but unthreatening condition that caused her heart to ocassionally stop, or beat so softly it couldn't be easily detected. She'd had the condition her whole life with no ill effects, but after she became sick with cholera, her family mistook her for dead, quickly burying her. Years later, when she was disinterred due to nonpayment of the burial tax, she was discovered face down in her coffin, her forehead covered with scratch marks, and her mouth full of blood from biting down on her own arm. Her corpse is still on display at the Mummies' Museum, her mouth still wide from screaming in her coffin (a strikingly similar case of cholera-induced live-burial can be seen at the Edisto Island Presbyterian Church in South Carolina). Admission to the Museo De Las Momias is 55 pesos, or roughly $4.25 in U.S. dollars, and for just a couple dollars more, they'll allow you to take all the spooky photographs you want. Sure, your friends might have spent spring break in Cancun, but how many of them will get a selfie with a mummy? -Roadtrippers With nearly 150 years of history, the Mummies of Guanajuato have become part of our culture and our traditions as a people settled on the slopes of a ravine that from the Spanish Viceroyalty wealth generously gave her insides saved. In 1865 the first mummified body lying in the pantheon of Santa Paula was extracted. Thus, as the years pass, they discovered other bodies in the same conditions by the characteristics of the soil in which they rested. Today there are over a hundred mummies that are part of the inventory of the museum created in his honor. The mummies awaken astonishment have caused conducting countless movies with characters of Mexican wrestling during the decade of the seventies managed images of these bodies were stiff appearance known in other countries. Since 2007, the Municipal Government redesigned the old Mummy Museum for its exhibition was made with a thematic sense and adequate infrastructure for an exhibition of this nature which annually attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors. The Mummies of Guanajuato are fully integrated into the culture of the people of Guanajuato Capital, since from the historical and social perspective, represent different stages that have allowed this city now consolidated as a major national tourist destination. Preserve and enhance the cultural heritage around the legacy of the mummies has also been the subject of careful scientific studies by specialists in forensic medicine and anthropology from the United States. These scientists have done studies on mummies in other parts of the world and in Guanajuato are applying advanced techniques that will result in the enrichment of the museum file then can be possible to know the possible channels of Death, approximate ages, social environment and even facial reconstruction mummified bodies. Mummies are part of the heritage of Guanajuato , so it is something that we maintain, preserve and share it with visitors who come to our city in your search.
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Museo De Las Momias
- Sun - Sat: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
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