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T+L's Definitive Guide to Mexico City

Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso,18th century,courtyard,museum,cultural center,art,architecture,exterior

Photo: Luis García

See + Do

The city is filled with lesser-known gems. Below, four that top our list.

Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso: Once you’ve seen Diego Rivera’s historical murals in the Palacio Nacional, walk a few blocks north to this 18th-century former Jesuit school, whose placid porticoes are lined with bitingly satirical works by his contemporary José Clemente Orozco.

Casa Luis Barragán: The former residence of the great Mexican Modernist is a must for architecture fans. Barragán created intensity by distilling color and structure: a long wall of intense pink, for example, or a window positioned so the shadow aligns with the wall opposite.

Museo del Juguete Antiguo: Japanese-Mexican architect Roberto Shimizu began collecting toys in 1955; now his son oversees the exhibition of 45,000 pieces in a space wedged between auto-body shops south of downtown. The displays of soldiers, Barbie dolls, and more are sure to induce joyful nostalgia.

Museo Nacional de Antropología: Among the pre-Columbian treasures housed here is the Piedra del Sol, a stone disk whose carvings reveal the cosmological sophistication of Aztec beliefs. But there are quieter riches, such as a jadeite mask from Palenque and a Toltec armored vest made from seashells.

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