5 de Mayo 409
72000 Puebla, Mexico
NileGuide Expert tip:
The museum opens Tues - Sun from 10 to 16hrs. The entrance looks a little small and messy, but the house is upstairs, so don't worry, you're at the right place, just go upstairs.
Imagine if you could witness life at the dawn of the XX century. Picture yourself walking through a beautifully decorated XVIII building and being able to immerse yourself in a XIX century wealthy lifestyle.
All that is possible at the Jose Luis Bello y Zetina Museum, where the formerly named' patrimony has remained almost untouched for more than 30 years and is now one of the biggest art collections in Puebla. Jose Luis Bello y Zetina was a well known collector and philanthropist who died without any heir and donated everything he owned, including his house, to the people of Puebla. Everything you see in this museum was his and part of this house since he acquire it.
The building used to be part of the Santo Domingo Monastery, but when Mr. Bello bought it, he redecorated to turn it into one of the most elegant houses in Puebla. The walls in this house are packed with paintings and carvings dating as back as the XVI century and coming from many parts of Europe and Mexico. Some of them made by famous artists such as Murillo, el Greco, Zurbarán, Miguel Cabrera, José Nava and many more. The furniture looks carefully chosen and placed. The sculpture collection, not as big as the painting one, but still outstanding, has some of the finest examples of this discipline in the city.
Each room, beautifully decorated, tells a little about this family's lifestyle. You almost feel like a guest who's been invited to admire their vast collection. Mr. Bello and his wife become familiar faces that take you into their most private rooms and welcome you as one of them.
Mrs. Bello collection of fans and miniatures is delightful, and surely was shown only to her closest friends. But the love letters sent between these two long lasting lovers are what makes the feeling of being part of the family complete. You can hardly get more immerse in someone's life than reading their love letters.
This is a small museum, but every visit is made accompanied by a guide who will submerge you even deeper in this family's life.