Castillo de Chapultepec

Castillo de Chapultepec information

Location
Mexico City , Mexico
Address
Bosque de Chapultepec
Getting there
Metro: Chapultepec
More information
www.castillodechapultepec.inah.gob.mx
Opening hours
9am-5pm Tue-Sun
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A visible reminder of Mexico’s bygone aristocracy, the ‘castle’ that stands atop Chapultepec Hill was begun in 1785 but not completed until after independence, when it became the national military academy. When Emperor Maximilian and Empress Carlota arrived in 1864, they refurbished it as their residence.

The castle sheltered Mexico’s presidents until 1939 when President Lázaro Cárdenas converted it into the Museo Nacional de Historia .

Historical exhibits chronicle the period from the rise of colonial Nueva España to the Mexican Revolution. In addition to displaying such iconic objects as the sword wielded by José María Morelos in the Siege of Cuautla and the Virgin of Guadalupe banner borne by Miguel Hidalgo in his march for independence, the museum features a number of dramatic interpretations of Mexican history by leading muralists, including Juan O’Gorman’s panoramic Retablo de la independencia (Panel of Independence).

The east end of the castle preserves the palace occupied by Maximilian and Carlota, with sumptuously furnished salons opening onto an exterior deck that affords sweeping city views. On the upper floor, Porfirio Díaz’ opulent rooms surround a patio where a tower marks the top of Chapultepec Hill, 45m above street level.

To reach the castle, follow the road that curves up the hill behind the Monumento a los Niños Héroes. Alternatively, a trainlike vehicle (M$15 round trip) runs up every 15 minutes while the castle is open.

Back at ground level, follow the south side of the hill’s base to find the formidable Tribuna Monumental de las Águilas , dedicated to Mexico’s WWII veterans. On the left side of the monument, enter the Audiorama , a pebbly garden with body-contoured benches where you can enjoy opera or classical music.