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09.04.2009

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Chapultepec Castle
Chapultepec / Images of Chapultepec / Other attractions

Neighborhood: Chapultepec
Metro: Chapultepec
Tuesday to Sunday from 9:00 to 16:30 hrs.
Telephone: 5241 3100
 

From its location at the top of Chapultepec Hill, Chapultepec Castle is the eternal witness of Mexico’s history; as it has watched armies, presidents and emperors, who have left a permanent mark on the nation, walk among its walls and gardens.

Chapultepec has always been a crucial place for Mexican history; since pre-Columbian times some sanctuaries existed there and it was a place of rest for the Aztec emperors. This place was thought to have magical importance by the Aztec people, as they considered there were two entrances to the underworld: one in the city of Mitla in Oaxaca, and the other in a cavern in Chapultepec Hill, which today is a bit hidden but it’s still visible on the southern side of the hill. Also, the springs of the area supplied the populous city with water during this time, and later, in times of the Viceroyship.

At the end of the 18th Century, in 1780 to be exact, the Viceroy Matías Gálvez started the construction of a residence at the top of Chapultepec Hill that would later become a Military School. During the American invasion of 1847, it was one of the last bastions that resisted in Mexico City. Later, in the 1860’s, the emperor Maximilian of Hapsburg arranged this site as his residence because he was captivated by the beautiful views of the Valley of Mexico that could be appreciated from that place; he beautified the castle by adding gardens and sophisticated interior decoration and communicated Chapultepec Castle with the Historical Centre by creating a Parisian style boulevard, which is now the renowned Reforma Avenue With the passing years the Castle became the home of all of Mexico’s presidents until, in 1940, Lázaro Cárdenas donated it to the nation so it could become the National History Museum.

Apart from having priceless historical objects, this magnificent building also allows us to learn how presidents and emperors used to live, as well as granting us a beautiful view, considered by many the best in the whole city.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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