Museo Casa de Carranza
The former Mexican president kept the bullets that killed his predecessor on display in his home, now a museum.
This art nouveau house in Mexico City served as the residence of Mexican President Venustiano Carranza from 1917 to 1920. Today it houses a museum showcasing some personal objects that belonged the revolutionary leader, including a pair of macabre items linked to an infamous political assassination.
The Mexican Revolution began in 1910 when Francisco I. Madero replaced dictator Porfirio Díaz as president. But one of the cruelest episodes of this time was the betrayal of Madero’s own cabinet, which conspired to assassinate him in 1913, after which Madero was named a martyr of democracy. After the revolution, President Carranza was left in charge of pacifying the country, sometimes going as far as killing the few remaining revolutionary leaders.
Today, the Museo Casa de Carranza (Carranza House Museum) reproduces the former presidential residence as it was seen in those years. The tour includes a visit to the kitchen, the bathroom, and the former president’s private bedroom. As Carranza was a great admirer of Madero, the house shows several portraits and allegories to his predecessor. But perhaps the most macabre display is the small pedestal that Carranza ordered to exhibit the two bullet fragments that were extracted from Madero’s body when he was killed—an object for which Carranza held deep affection and respect.
The story does not end well for Carranza. After creating the new Mexican Constitution—the core discourse of the museum—he strove to name a worthy successor (even if that meant sabotaging the elections). That political movement did not please his opponents who, it is commonly believed, were behind his assassination. Carranza died the night of May 21, 1920, after being shot at the hut where he slept in Puebla. The pajamas he wore that night are also displayed in the museum, complete with the bloodstains left by the bullets.
Know Before You Go
If you visit the museum, note the former president's gun collection, some of which are engraved with his name. And don't forget to see the showcase of bills, a symbol of the economic instability of the moment, as each province printed its own money.
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