This delightful collection of tiny dioramas depicting the culture and history of Mexico is on display in two rooms inside the Hotel Mesón de San Sebastián. Called the Museo de Miniaturas, this diminutive museum is one of the best little secrets of the historic city of Puebla.
All of the miniatures were painstakingly created by the artist Saúl Navarro Escalante. His first model was the scene of the Last Supper, made of figures sculpted in chalk. Next, Escalante began to create typical scenes from everyday life in Mexico, such as a bakery, a canteen, a grocery store, and even a witch shop.
All of the models are created primarily with chalk, paper, and wood. These, along with various other materials, are transformed into teeny tableau’s from the artist’s imagination. Each scene fills a space no bigger than about 4 by 10 inches, illuminated with colorful lights.
There are biblical scenes, such as the strength of Samson breaking the temple pillars before his death; historical scenes such as the Cinco de Mayo battle at Puebla; and Mexican ghost legends such as “La llorona” or “El Charro Negro.” Other scenes are more fantastical, like the UFO spaceship, or the portrayal of Dracula rising from the coffin in his castle.
Know Before You Go
With some luck, Don Saúl Navarro could be your personal guide at this museum, as he can be found there most of the time.