Veracruz Naval Museum (Museo Histórico Naval) is 6 blks. from the waterfront at Calle Mariano Arista #32. It recounts Mexico's naval history from pre-Hispanic times to the present day. The building is remarkable—a two-story structure with a central courtyard and multiple arched entryways, it originally housed the Naval School of Medicine.
Exhibits in some 30 display rooms include Mayan and Aztec-era dugout canoes complete with oars, 19th-century maritime charts, depictions of notable rescue efforts, medical artifacts and a room with hundreds of firearms lining the walls and fashioned into enormous chandeliers. A highlight is the display illustrating the first naval battle that took place in the New World, with large warships built by Hernán Cortes besieged by hundreds of small Aztec vessels. Exhibit information is in Spanish.