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Hospicio Cabanas

Discover famous murals, admire fine architecture and explore the grounds of one of South America’s largest former hospitals at this World Heritage Site.

The illustrious Hospicio Cabañas in Guadalajara was one of the largest and oldest hospitals in South America. Admire the stunning domed chapel and marvel at masterpieces of Mexican art in this historic building, which is now an art institute and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The hospital opened in the early 1800s with the aim of looking after the city’s disadvantaged people, such as orphans, the elderly and the sick. It is named after former Spanish bishop Juan Ruiz de Cabañas, who hired well-known architect Manuel Tolsá to design it. The building took almost a decade to complete and provided care for around 6,000 people during its lifetime as a hospital. The hospital finally shut down in 1980 and today the building houses the Cabañas Cultural Institute, an arts and crafts school.

Admire the building’s design, which was influenced by 18th-century French and Spanish architecture. Marvel at the impressive domed chapel and walk along the majestic halls and archways inside the complex. Except for the chapel and the kitchen, the entire building is single-story to facilitate the transportation of patients. 

Inspect the 57 frescoes that decorate the chapel. Painted in the 1930s by renowned artist José Clemente Orozco, the frescoes depict Spanish and Mexican indigenous culture and are regarded as masterpieces of Mexican art. Look inside the chapel’s dome to find Orozco’s most famous mural, El Hombre de Fuego (The Man of Fire).

Explore the spacious courtyard at the center of the site, which was designed to resemble heaven so the disadvantaged could feel closer to God. Explore some of the former children’s bedrooms by the courtyard and admire the cheerful wall paintings in the children’s dining room.

The Cabañas Cultural Institute is open Tuesday to Sunday. Admission fees apply, with discounts for children. Hospicio Cabañas is located in the northeast of Guadalajara, next to the Lopez Portillo Garden and is easy to reach by tram. Nearby attractions include the scenic Morelos Park and the Teatro Degollado.


Guide to Exploring around Hospicio Cabanas


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Lodging Near Hospicio Cabanas

See all 256 Hotels near Hospicio Cabanas
NH Collection Guadalajara Centro Histórico $38
NH Collection Guadalajara Centro Histórico

NH Collection Guadalajara Centro Histórico

Colon 73, Guadalajara
     
    4.5
    of 5, from 323 reviews
    4.5 out of 5.0

    Located in Centro, this luxury hotel is steps from Biblioteca Octavio Paz, Plaza de Armas, and Metropolitan Cathedral. Hospicio Cabanas and University of Guadalajara Assembly Hall are also within 1 mi (2 km).

    Hotel Morales Historical & Colonial Downtown Core $37
    Hotel Morales Historical & Colonial Downtown Core

    Hotel Morales Historical & Colonial Downtown Core

    Ave Corona 243 Centro, Guadalajara
       
      4.6
      of 5, from 2,269 reviews
      3.5 out of 5.0

      This hotel sits in the city's historical district and is 3 blocks from the Metropolitan Cathedral and the Degollado Theater.

      Hotel Universo Guadalajara $24
      Hotel Universo Guadalajara

      Hotel Universo Guadalajara

      Lopez Cotilla No, 161, Guadalajara
         
        3.7
        of 5, from 352 reviews
        3.0 out of 5.0

        Located in Centro, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Templo de San Agustin and Plaza de Armas. Hospicio Cabanas and Metropolitan Cathedral are also within 15 minutes.

        One Guadalajara Centro Histórico $48
        One Guadalajara Centro Histórico

        One Guadalajara Centro Histórico

        Av 16 De Septiembre No 16, Guadalajara
           
          3.7
          of 5, from 812 reviews
          3.0 out of 5.0

          Located in Centro, this eco-friendly hotel is steps from Palacio de Gobierno, Metropolitan Cathedral, and Plaza de Armas. Hospicio Cabanas and University of Guadalajara Assembly Hall are also within 1 mi (2 km).

          Hotel Misión Guadalajara Carlton $35
          Hotel Misión Guadalajara Carlton

          Hotel Misión Guadalajara Carlton

          Ave Ninos Heroes 125, Guadalajara
             
            3.3
            of 5, from 649 reviews
            3.0 out of 5.0

            This family-friendly Guadalajara hotel is located in Downtown Guadalajara, within 1 mi (2 km) of Teatro Diana, Plaza de Armas, and Metropolitan Cathedral. Hospicio Cabanas and University of Guadalajara Assembly Hall are also within 2 mi (3 km).

            Best Western Plus Gran Hotel Centro Historico $28
            Best Western Plus Gran Hotel Centro Historico

            Best Western Plus Gran Hotel Centro Historico

            Calzada Independencia Sur # 168, Guadalajara
               
              3.3
              of 5, from 482 reviews
              2.5 out of 5.0

              Located in Centro, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Plaza de los Mariachis, Hospicio Cabanas, and Plaza de Armas. Metropolitan Cathedral and University of Guadalajara Assembly Hall are also within 1 mi (2 km).

              Hotel Portobelo $32
              Hotel Portobelo

              Hotel Portobelo

              Av Juarez No. 687 Col Centro, Guadalajara
                 
                4.6
                of 5, from 1,005 reviews
                3.0 out of 5.0

                Located in Centro, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Parque Revolucion and University of Guadalajara Assembly Hall. Metropolitan Cathedral and Plaza de Armas are also within 15 minutes.

                Hotel Santiago de Compostela $18
                Hotel Santiago de Compostela

                Hotel Santiago de Compostela

                Ave Colon 272 A, Guadalajara
                   
                  3.7
                  of 5, from 495 reviews
                  3.0 out of 5.0

                  Located in Centro, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Las Nueve Esquinas, Metropolitan Cathedral, and Plaza de Armas. Hospicio Cabanas and University of Guadalajara Assembly Hall are also within 1 mi (2 km).