Friar Geronimo de Mendoza was the first Franciscan to arrive in Zacatecas around the mid -16th century. He first founded a hospice, that was originally located in the former church and convent of St. Augustine, before finally settling into the building of The former Convento de San Francisco.
The San Francisco Convent was the first of its kind founded in the province of Zacatecas in the year 1567. His religious followers were missionaries in charge of evangelizing the northern part of New Spain, and other territories that today form part of the southern United States, for which Zacatecas came to be know as "The Civilizer of the North.” Following the Law of Nationalization of church property in 1856, the convent fell into crisis, and upon application of the Laws of Reform in 1859, the building began to deteriorate.
Around 1953, some concern to rescue the building began to surface. But, it wasn’t until 1980 when reconstruction began with the aim of converting it into a museum.
Of the original building, only the dome, the vault of the presbytery and the sacristy remain. Today, this center of inestimable value is one of the most beautiful in the country and unique for the quality of its collection.
It now houses the Museo Rafael Coronel (Rafael Coronel Museum), which displays an interesting collection of Mexican folk art, with the principal exhibit called "The Face of Mexico" which consists of more than five thousand Mexican masks.
Open from 10:00 to 4:30. Closed on Wednesdays.