The Hospicio Cabañas in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, is the home of Instituto Cultural Cabanas (ICC). The Hospicio Cabañas (Cabañas Orphanage) is one of the oldest and largest hospital complexes in Mexico. It was first named the House of Charity and Mercy and is one of the most iconic buildings of the architectural heritage of the state of Jalisco.
The bishop of Guadalajara founded the complex in 1791 to combine the functions of a workhouse, hospital, orphanage, and almshouse. It was named Juan Ruiz de Cabañas, who was appointed to the bishop of Guadalajara in 1796 and engaged Manuel Tolsá, a renowned architect from Mexico City, to design the structure.
Tolsá used a model that was based on classic examples such as Les Invalides in Paris and El Escorial near Madrid. The buildings form a rectangle and are single-story structures that are 7.5 m in height. The chapel is twice as high and has a dome rising to 32.5 m. The complex is built on one level, “so as to facilitate the movement of the sick, the aged, and children.”
Following the death of Cabañas in 1823, construction continued until 1829. Although it served for a time as barracks in the mid-19th century, the hospital lasted well into the 20th century and continued to function until 1980, when the Cabañas Cultural Institute, with affiliated schools for arts and crafts moved in. The highlight of the interior decoration is a series of monumental frescoes by José Clemente Orozco, including one of his most famed creations, the allegory of The Man of Fire (1936–39).
The museum was declared a World Heritage site in 1997 by UNESCO and is dedicated to the promotion and diffusion of the arts. It has also hosted the work of Mexican and international artists such as Jose Clemente Orozco, Diego Rivera David Alfaro Siqueiros, and many more.