Palace of the Inquisition

Palacio de la Inquisición

Now the Museo de Medicina Mexicana (Museum of Mexican Medicine), the onetime Palace of the Inquisition focuses on the evolution of medical science from the pre-Hispanic period to today.

The building that held the Tribunal del Santo Oficio de la Inquisición (Court of the Holy Office of the Inquisition) looks intimidating and intriguing. Spain’s Catholic monarchs ordered it be built to persecute heretics. It held a courtroom, hearing rooms, and jails where Jews, Protestants, and witches were punished, as well as heretics and rebels.

While the interior may feel disturbing, the architecture by Pedro de Arrieta is extraordinary. The corner of the building in particular is remarkable for its canted entrance.

After the Inquisition, the structure was temporarily the archbishop’s offices, then the National Lottery building, an elementary school, and military headquarters. Between 1854 and 1956, it served as the School of Medicine for the Universidad Nacional until the university moved to its new campus in Ciudad Universitaria. After several remodels, in 1980 it was re-opened as the Museum of Mexican Medicine.




Palace of the Inquisition, República de Brasil, Historic center of Mexico City, Centro, Cuauhtémoc, CDMX, Mexico

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