After independence, a long political struggle ensued between the national government and the Church. It climaxed in the Reform Wars of the 1850s, when the liberal government instituted several anticlerical measures, including expropriation of the convents. The nuns at Santa Mónica discreetly walled up their doors and kept functioning as a religious community with the aid of their neighbors and the blind eye of local officials. They survived with little assistance from the outside as, over the years, the convent slowly crumbled around them. Then in 1934 (during another political feud btw. church and state), a local official "discovered" them. This history makes for an interesting visit: Displays include the contents of this and two other clandestine convents confiscated at the same time. These nuns weren't sitting on great treasures -- most of the paintings are poor representatives of their era -- but you will find a rare set of paintings on velvet predating Elvis or poker-playing dogs. Don't miss the crypt, the chapel, and the upper and lower coros (choirs). This museum was closed for restoration work for part of 2009 and 2010. Note: In the church next door is the much-revered image of Nuestro Señor de las Maravillas to the left as you enter. He is an important and popular saint in Puebla, and there's often a crowd of worshipers surrounding him.