Visit the Canton Palace

Visit the Canton Palace

Regional Museum of Anthropology of Yucatán, Cantón Palace


The Palacio Cantón was built in the first decade of the 20th century as the family residence of Gral. Francisco Cantón Rosado. General Cantón (1833-1917) was one of the most prominent figures of his time. As a military man, he fought in the Caste War against the rebellious Maya. He was the owner of cattle ranches and railroad entrepreneur, and was governor of Yucatán between 1898 - 1902. In 1932, the Cantón family sold the building to the government of Yucatán. From then on it was, successively, headquarters of the School of Fine Arts, of the Hidalgo Elementary School and house of the governors. Later it simultaneously housed the Yucatecan Institute of Anthropology and History and the Crescencio Carrillo y Ancona Library, located on the main floor, as well as the Yucatan Archaeological and Historical Museum, in the basement.

In the 1960s, the first generation of archaeologists and anthropologists from the School of Anthropological Sciences studied upstairs. The Regional Museum of Anthropology of Yucatán, Palacio Cantón was inaugurated in December 1959. Since 1980, its permanent exhibition about pre-Hispanic Mayan society has been presented on the main floor. Temporary exhibits, educational workshops and cultural events are offered on the upper floor.

Property Description

The museum occupies a building from the beginning of the 20th century. The architecture of the mansion is of the eclectic style known as Beaux Arts, which prevailed in the Europe of the Belle Epoque and in the Mexico of the Porfiriato. It is believed that the original plans were drawn by the Italian architect Enrico Deserti and that the Yucatecan engineer and architect Manuel G. Cantón was in charge of the construction. General Francisco Cantón, governor of Yucatán, inhabited it until his death. The majesty of the property stands out not only for its dimensions, but also for the materials used in its construction: plaster pastillage, marble in various shades, fine finishes on the ceilings, Doric and Ionic columns, a beautiful staircase carved in white marble and gardens. exteriors.


In 1980 it became the headquarters of the Regional Museum of Anthropology, better known as the Canton Palace. From that date until 2012, his exhibition focused on archaeological material made up of pieces of the pre-Hispanic Mayan culture. As of 2012 it has changed its contents, destined to present important temporary exhibitions of various subjects. Today, 56 years after its opening, the Palacio Cantón Regional Museum of Anthropology is an example of harmony between past and present, being a dynamic space that offers exhibitions, conferences, cultural and academic events to promote knowledge about the culture of the pre-Hispanic and contemporary peoples.

The Palacio Cantón is undoubtedly an emblem of the city of Mérida, capital of Yucatán, it is a link that connects the past with the present in order to project it into the future.


The museum provides the following services:

  • Guided visits in Spanish to school and special groups with a prior agenda.

  • Conferences and book presentations.

  • Concerts in the Sala "Capilla".

  • Free Sunday workshops for children from 6 to 12 years old.

  • Programs for students for social service, professional practices and volunteering.

  • Toilets and lift for the disabled.

  • It has an independent bookstore "Educal" that works during the same hours as the museum.


Tuesday to Sunday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Access charge: $ 65 pesos MX (payment by credit and debit card is accepted). Exempt from payments every day: Children under 12 years of age, students, retirees and pensioners with valid credentials. On Sundays, admission is free to all Mexicans.

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