The Xochimilco Archaeological Museum is on the grounds of an old Nahuatl settlement. Reachable by the Embarcadero de Santa Cruz, most guests will arrive by land. It’s today home to a remarkable collection of some 12,000 artifacts, mostly in fired clay and stone. All of them were uncovered, or re-discovered in the lands surrounding Xochimilco and in the canals for which it’s so famous. Collections are complemented by paleontological remains, including those of a mammoth. There are also a few examples of Teotihuacan-era inscriptions. About 2,000 objects from the collection are generally on display at any given time.
The museum occupies the grounds of part of the old Xochimilco aqueduct and pumping station. This includes the “Casa de Bombas,” a good example of Neo-Indigenous architecture slanting in the direction of the Neo-Classical. It dates from 1910. The building is surrounded by rather ornate gardens. These reach even to the Acalote de Santa Cruz, the canal with a small landing area. Reconstruction on the grounds began in 1974. The museum opened in 1985.
The museum collection begins with prehistoric artifacts. These are followed by sculpted warriors, animals, and parts to the old ball game court. The two galleries are generally crowded with artifacts and displays, if not with museum guests. The Museum also includes a multipurpose room and an extensive patio and café.
The museum is one of the principle places in the Pueblo Originario of Santa Cruz Acalpixca. The town is centered around the small church and the Plaza de Santa Cruz. This is the former atrium of the church and today a town square and city park. The town square is also adjoined by the Mercado de Santa Cruz Acalpixca, a thriving neighborhood market and a perfect place for lunch. The market and town square about a five-minute walk from the Xochimilco Archaeological Museum. The Cuahilama archaeological site is about eight minutes further.