Toluca is the capital of the state of Mexico with a booming population of just under half a million people. It’s a high altitude colonial town with a step back in time feel to it. The buildings that fill this area are a colonial neo classic rustic style architecture. For me it had a bustling feel with so many people quickly jetting from place to place. The plaza’s that were dotted throughout the Center of the Historica District were beautifully designed each having their own personality. One of my absolute favorites had spectacular works of art placed throughout the space with several water features.
Cathedral of Saint Joseph of Nazareth is a Roman Catholic cathedral in the city of Toluca, Mexico, named after Saint Joseph. The detail of architecture was enthralling and drew me in immediately. It seemed such a strong and sturdy structure especially for being from 1867. The plaza that sits in front of this amazing church was a vast plot of land with beautifully well-maintained gardens to one side of it.
Just down the street from the plaza was a small museum called the Museo de Inquisicion the atmosphere of this museum permanently exposes a multitude of more than 70 instruments of torture and humiliation, characteristic of the Holy Inquisition and other authorities corresponding to the Middle Ages. When you arrive and walk into the entrance it’s already filled with a sinister dark energy. After paying the fifty peso entrance fee you are given a small mp3 player with headphones that is basically your tour guide. Caveat the entire tour is in Spanish so if your not at least somewhat fluent this may prove to be difficult to understand what each station represents.
There are 30 stations set up in sequential order, each station has its own screen that partial re-enact scenes of the torture routinely practiced during this era. Many of the stations had very lifelike mannequins creating an image on different torturing’s. There were a few that seem particularly disturbing to me. Unfortunately, this unusual museum does not allow pictures or video so I was only able to get some of the walkways up and of the outside of the building.
As you listen to the guided tour it sets a very dark and sad time, the howls and screams mixed in with the information that was spilling into my ears were a little much for me. Honestly, it was too long for my taste taking about thirty to forty-five minutes. By the end, I was more than happy to leave. While this journey through pain and humiliation was interesting it was too depressing for me to really enjoy. I definitely would not take a child here or any over-sensitive soul.
Fortunately, it was a beautiful sunny day in Toluca which is exactly what I needed after visiting the Museo de Inquisicion. I wandered around a while longer enjoying the colonial feel of my surroundings. The small houses that filled the surrounding hills of Centro with all their different colors brightened my mood and brought me back to a more at ease mood.
I walked through the main shopping street that was filled with so many people all coming and going in a somewhat of a hurry. The smells of too many foods and cars were overwhelming but energized. I really enjoyed my first adventure here in Toluca be sure to check back on Thursday for a tour of the Botanical gardens they are absolutely beautiful.
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