Chihuahua’s history dates back to 1709, when it was founded by the Spanish as a trading site for nearby mining towns. However, the region, which lies at the intersection of the Chuviscar and Sacramento Rivers, contains archeological sites dating back as far as 500 A.D. These museums tell the story of Chihuahua from its origins through its involvement in the Mexican War of Independence to modern day.
Museo Casa Chihuahua
With various temporary and permanent exhibits spanning the three levels of this building, there’s plenty to see at Casa Chihuahua. However, this museum is particularly infamous for containing the dungeon in which Father Miguel Hidalgo was held prior to his execution in 1811. Known as Calabaza de Hidalgo, it was originally part of a Jesuit seminary and to this day still holds Father Hidalgo’s Bible and crucifix.
Historical Museum of the Mexican Revolution
An elegant residence built between 1905 and 1907, this estate served as one of the homes to Francisco “Pancho” Villa, one of the most legendary figures in the Mexican Revolution. A must-see for history buffs, this museum is filled with antique furnishings and historic artifacts, including the Dodge automobile that Villa was driving when he was assassinated in 1923.
Museo Casa Juarez
This is the building where former Mexican President Benito Juárez established his government-in-exile in 1864. He lived there as he ran his constitutional government until 1866. Today, the museum holds some original furnishings from his occupation as well as a plethora of signed documents, weapons and photographs.
This museum is fit for parents looking for a way to get their children engaged in history. Housed in a historical building and named for being the shape of a seed, this children’s museum was founded in 1999. It has two main sections: Space, Natural History and Science and Geography and Geology. Complete with exhibits on the trip to the moon and space shuttle mock-ups, this makes a great place for families to spend educational time out of the sun.
Museo del Desierto Chihuanese
Located on the western edge of the Chihuahua Desert, the contents of this museum are focused around the ecosystem of the desert and its natural history. It has four galleries that chart the desert’s evolution and is home to the largest paleontological collection in the State of Chihuahua, with 20 full-sized skeleton models of the region’s Cretecaurus dinosaurs. For a break from the urban and an emphasis on natural history, this museum is a refreshing experience.
Museo Botanico de Cactus y Plantas Crasas de Conchita Rangel
This unique botanical museum is housed not in a building or cultural center but rather in a private residence for guests to experience a jaw-dropping collection of endemic and hybrid cacti and marine fossils. With over 1,800 cactus varieties, Concepcion Rangel Gonzalez, or Conchita, opened the museum in 2004 to offer visitors to Chihuahua a different kind of experience — with two display greenhouses, this museum is the only one of its kind in Mexico.
Museo del Mamut (Mammoth museum)
Located close to Chihuahua’s center, this museum covers the natural history of the State of Chihuahua from the age of reptiles to the present day. Notably, the museum is home to a mammoth skeleton, as well as fossils and extinct species of flora and fauna from the region.