It is an eerie idea, and definitely not for the weak-hearted, to start one’s day by seeing the dead bodies (Mummies) and visiting a cemetery. But when you are in Guanajuato (Mexico), a beautiful city 362 km away from the Mexico City, you just cannot skip paying a visit to the world-famous Museo de las Momias de Guanajuato (Guanajuato Mummies Museum). It is must-see which evokes the thought of life and death. It gives a glimpse of how the people of Guanajuato celebrate and normalize death. It is rooted in the Mexican culture to honor their ancestors during the festival of Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). And on the first day of our stay in Guanajuato, the first thing we did in the morning was to visit this unique museum.
Guanajuato Mummy Museum was actually conceptualized as an accident. In 1833, owing to the cholera outbreak in Guanajuato state, Mexico, many deaths happened. However around that time, a strange local tax existed in the state which the family members of the dead had to pay. Failing to pay the tax meant that dead bodies were dug up from their grave and the burial place was reused. Most of the bodies were dug up as the locals failed to pay taxes. Out of them, few bodies got mummified through the natural process.
On 9th June, 1865, while exhuming the dead bodies in the Santa Paula Municipal Pantheon, grave diggers found the mummified body of a French doctor, Dr. Remigio Leroy from crypt no 214. The body had not decayed but had mummified. Since the doctor did not have any relatives in the city, no one claimed his body. Hence, his mummy became the first and the oldest mummy of this museum. Over a period of time, more mummified bodies were found and eventually became part of the museum. People started flocking to these mummies out of curiosity. And finally it gave the idea to set up a museum for these mummies near the cemetery.
Read more: Collection & Photos of Guanajuato mummies
How to Reach the Museum
Take the city bus, which is marked as ‘Las Momias’ and the bus will leave you very near to the museum. Bus service is extremely cheap in Guanajuato and costs less than 10 pesos. Another option is to take a taxi to the museum, which operates at a flat rate of 40 Pesos anywhere in the city. (Read: How to Plan Mexico Trip)
Visiting the Guanajuato Mummies Museum
- Admission Fees – 55 MXN Pesos for Adults, 36 MXN for Children 6 -12 years
- Camera Usage Fees – 20 MXN
- Open from 9am – 6pm
- Official Website of the Museum