The Canton Palace was built in the first decade of the 20th century as the family residence of General Francisco Cantón Rosado. General Cantón (1833-1917) was one of the most outstanding characters of his time. As a military man, he fought in the Caste War against the Maya rebels. He was a cattle ranch owner and railroad entrepreneur, and was governor of Yucatán from 1898 - 1902. In 1932, the Cantón family sold the building to the government of Yucatán. From then on it was successively the seat of the School of Fine Arts, the Hidalgo Elementary School and the governors' house. Later it simultaneously housed the Yucatecan Institute of Anthropology and History and the Crescencio Carrillo y Ancona Library, located on the main floor, as well as the Archaeological and Historical Museum of Yucatán, in the basement.
It is currently the Museum of Regional Anthropology of Yucatan, its imposing architecture captures the views and cameras of everyone who passes through its streets.
The architectural project of the Canton Palace was in charge of the Italian architect Enrico Deserti, who also directed, at the same time, the construction of the Peon Contreras Theater. The engineer Manuel G. Cantón Ramos, nephew of General Francisco Cantón, owner of the house, was in charge of the construction. The majesty of the building stands out for its dimensions and the materials used in its construction; some of them were imported from France, Italy and Germany. The building has an eclectic Frenchified style with baroque and neoclassical elements, the details located both on the exterior and interior were made by the sculptor and artist Michele Giacomino.
The building became a reference of the opulent society of Yucatan during the henequen industry and to this day is a representative sample of the economic power that reached the so-called divine caste of Yucatan. It is undoubtedly the most conspicuous historical building on Paseo de Montejo, the artery of the city of Merida that housed the richest residences of pre-revolutionary Yucatan.
Today, 36 years after its opening, the Museo Regional de Yucatán, Palacio Cantón is an example of harmony between past and present, a dynamic space that offers exhibitions, conferences, cultural and academic events to promote knowledge about the culture of pre-Hispanic and contemporary peoples.
The museum provides the following services:
-Guided tours in Spanish to school and special groups by prior arrangement.
-Lectures and book presentations.
-Concerts in the Chapel Hall.
-Free Sunday workshops for children from 6 to 12 years old.
- Student programs for social service, internships and volunteer work.
- Restrooms and elevator for the handicapped
- It has an independent bookstore "Educal" that works during the same hours of the museum.
Tuesday to Sunday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
$65 pesos MX ( credit and debit card payment accepted). Exempt from payment every day: Children under 12 years old, students, retirees and pensioners with valid ID. On Sundays, admission is free for all Mexicans.