Located in the historic center of San José de Toluca, a few steps from the Cathedral and Los Portales, the Convent and Church del Carmen is one of the most beautiful monastic complexes of Mexico.
Since its construction in 1698, the Convent of the Purísima Concepción de la Orden de los Carmelitas Descalzos (Discalced Carmelites), its original name, has functioned as a religious center, asylum, civil hospital, school, and home of the Literary and Scientific Institute.
Since September 7, 1945, it has housed the Museum of Fine Arts, the oldest cultural center of the city which aims to preserve and disseminate the sacred and applied art from the 16th to the 19th centuries.
Designed by Miguel de Rivera it was raised in several stages, first the Chapel of the Tercera Orden (Third Order) dedicated to Santa Teresa was built and then the Church of the Virgen del Carmen, which was blessed on March 25, 1711. The bell tower was built between 1811 and 1814 and designed by José Damián Ortiz de Castro.
In 1859, the Order of the Discalced Carmelites added the neoclassical touch that remains to the present day. The gates of the complex are simple and its adornments lie on the top of the main gate in a niche that protects a statue of the Virgen del Carmen flanked by the arms of the Religious Order of Carmelites. Despite the lack of adornments, the way in which these buildings impose their majesty and architectural element is particularly striking: a balustrade topped by battlements that run along the top wrapping around the temple.