Ver Museo Antiguo Colegio De San Ildefonso - México, D.F.

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The Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso was one of the most important educational establishments in the capital of New Spain. Its creation by the Jesuits dates back to 1558 as a seminary for students of the congregation. Around 1618 it began to function under the Royal Patronage granted by Felipe III which established it as the Real y Más Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso.

At the beginning of the 18th century it was renovated, creating the building we know today as one of the most outstanding examples of civil architecture in Mexico City.

Following the expulsion of the Jesuits by Carlos III in 1767 the building served a number of functions: battalion headquarters to the Flandes regiment, college administered by the viceroy’s government and directed by a secular clergy, temporary headquarters of the School of Jurisprudence, School of Medicine and headquarters to both North American and French troops in 1847 and 1862 respectively.

The history of this Jesuit foundation concluded with the establishment of an institution of a liberal spirit which would create the basis of a new educational system and later become the principal nucleus of the Universidad Nacional. In 1867 the government of Benito Juárez carried out a sweeping programme of educational reform creating the Escuela Nacional Preparatoria (ENAP). The school was established in the building of the Colegio de San Ildefonso. Its first director Gabino Barreda established an innovative study plan based on the principals of the positivist philosophy of Augusto Comte.

In 1910 the ENAP went on to form part of the Universidad Nacional and during the next six decades continued to be the cradle of many generations of intellectuals and outstanding personalities. In 1978 the building ceased to be the headquarters of the ENAP and remained closed to the public until 1992 when it was restored to house the exhibition Mexico: 30 Centuries of Splendours. Since that date the Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso has been an art centre and venue for temporary exhibitions.

The Museum is administered by a tripartite group made up of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), the Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes (Conaculta) and the Mexico City government.

Since March 1994 the Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso has been a permanent project, whose new vocation as cultural centre has allowed it to become a place of excellence and prime importance in the cultural life of Mexico City.

Our mission is to organize temporary exhibitions that promote the archaeological, historic and artistic heritage of Mexico and other cultures; to offer the visitor a rich and novel experience that, through artistic works, can encourage learning and create a pleasant environment in which the likes, curiosity and needs of the public can be met; to constantly attract a greater number of visitors through the publicity of exhibitions and complimentary activities; to actively participate in the cultural regeneration of the Historic Centre of Mexico City; to encourage actions that could be potentially beneficial to increasing the budget allocated to the museum.
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Antiguo Colegio De San Ildefonso - Mexico

Justo Sierra 16
Mexico, Ciudad de México, 06020
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