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09.04.2009

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Chapultepec
Images of  Chapultepec / Zones of Mexico City

 

 

 

 

 

Chapultepec, which in the náhuatl dialect means “hill of the grasshopper”, is a park in Mexico City. It’s the main recreational and cultural centre in the city and it’s one of the largest, most beautiful and most visited parks in the world. Chapultepec Park or Forest as it’s known by the inhabitants of the City, takes its name from a hill located on its grounds, which houses on its peak the Castle of Chapultepec, which has been a witness to Mexican history since prehispanic times and that is surrounded by beautiful gardens and hundreds of ahuehuete trees, one of the  most long-lived species in the world.

The first section belongs to the oldest area of the park. It has a lake in which people can rent boats, a zoo (the most important one in Latinamerica), the Castle of Chapultepec (currently the National History Museum) and outstanding museums like the Modern Art Museum, the National Anthropology Museum, which holds the biggest precolombian art collection in the world, and the Tamayo Museum, in which work of the painter Rufino Tamayo is displayed, apart from numerous temporary exhibitions of international contemporary art.

The second section, opened in 1962, houses the Presidential Residence “Los Pinos”, the Papalote Children’s Museum and two lakes, the biggest of which is one of the favourite spots for sport activities, to visit one of two restaurants or to simply serenely contemplate the lake waters or feed the ducks.

The third section, inaugurated in 1974, has extensive green areas, a centre of Marine Co-existence, and also houses the seat of the Architect’s School.

Chapultepec, and specially the Castle of the same name have been extremely outstanding places in México’s history. Its origins go far back to precolombian times, when the mexicas, after consolidating their power in the Valley of México, established a sanctuary and gardens as a retreat for emperors. Later on, in times of Mexico’s independence, said Castle functioned as a Military School, and was, after convenient modifications, turned into the official residence of the emperor Maximiliano de Hasburgo, in times of the Second Mexican Empire. Finally, the Castle became the National History Museum and the park was opened, much to the delight of the inhabitants of Mexico City, by president Lázaro Cárdenas.

While visiting Chapultepec, it is an unforgettable experience to contemplate the most wonderful view of the City from the Castle, to walk through the Door of the Lions which is the entrance from Reforma, and to visit the Chapultepec Zoo, one of the most important in the world.

Places of interest in this area:

 

 

 

 

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