Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Thursday, November 10, 2011
The National Numismatic Museum
The streets behind the Cathedral are crowded with vendors selling fake designer bags and pirate DVDs, plastic junk from China, and tacos de cabeza; the backdrop to this carnival-like jumble is faded splendor. The colonial architecture here is almost fully intact—if this were a European city it would be the most expensive and desirable part of town. But with its slightly seedy street life tourists often overlook it.
The Casa de Mondea, Mexico’s National coin museum, is in the center of all this urban chaos, and it is easy to overlook—there’s no sign, and you have to make an appointment to visit. But anyone interested in money, and how it was made, will find the place fascinating.
Mexico’s mint was the first in the New World, established by a Royal Decree issued in Spain on May 11, 1535 by Juana de Castilla (also known as Juana la Loca).
The mint lasted more than two and a half centuries beside the National Palace at number 13 Calle Moneda (now the National Museum of Cultures). In 1848 the mint moved to Apartado 13 behind the Cathedral.
Mexico minted its coins here from 1850 until 1992, when the production moved to a new modern plant in San Luis Potosí. The old building became the National Numismatic Museum.
National Numismatic Museum
No. 13, Apartado street (off Calle Argentina behind the Cathedral)
México City’s Historical Center
Delegación Cuauhtémoc. C.P. 06020
5526 6981 ext. 4522 y 4531
Free visits are held from Monday to Friday at 10:00 am and 1:00 pm
The requests must be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org