Chapultepec Castle, Mexico City

Chapultepec Castle, Mexico City (must see)

Perched high above Mexico City, Chapultepec Castle offers breathtaking views and holds a unique distinction as the sole seat of a sovereign in North America. The castle stands proudly atop Chapultepec Hill and currently serves as the distinguished home of the National Museum of History.

Originally constructed in 1725 for the Spanish viceroy, Bernardo de Galvez, the castle came under the ownership of Mexico City in 1806. Its history took intriguing turns as, in 1833, it transformed into a military academy with the addition of the Caballero Alto (Tall Knight) tower to its grand structure. A poignant event in 1847 saw the castle defended by brave young heroes aged between 14 and 20, who valiantly fought against US troops during a siege. Their sacrifice was forever commemorated with a captivating mural adorning the entrance ceiling.

In 1864, the castle saw an extraordinary transformation when Emperor Maximilian I and Empress Carlota of Mexico made it their regal residence. A series of extensive architectural and landscape changes rendered it a palace befitting royalty. Subsequently, in 1882, Porfirio Diaz designated the castle as the official residence of the Mexican President.

However, in 1939, the castle relinquished its role as the President's residence and opened its doors to the public as the National Museum of History. The museum thoughtfully presents exhibits in chronological order, allowing visitors to journey through time from the Aztec Empire to the intriguing era of the 1930s.

Why You Should Visit:
The only Imperial castle in America! Very cheaply priced and with a beautiful view of the Reforma Avenue which was originally modeled after the Champs-Élysées in Paris to remind Maximilian's wife, Carlota, of her home. The surrounding area of Chapultepec Park boasts a Zoo and many other attractions to complete the day.

Tip:
Try to see when the ballet folklórico is performing because to see their show after the museum closes is a great experience!
At the top, you can go to the right to see the Caracol History Museum (made in the shape of a shell) which has some informative dioramas explaining the very complex history of Mexico.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Mexico City. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Chapultepec Castle on Map

Sight Name: Chapultepec Castle
Sight Location: Mexico City, Mexico (See walking tours in Mexico City)
Sight Type: Museum/Gallery
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Mexico City, Mexico

Create Your Own Walk in Mexico City

Create Your Own Walk in Mexico City

Creating your own self-guided walk in Mexico City is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Chapultepec Park Walking Tour

Chapultepec Park Walking Tour

Nicknamed "the Lungs of Mexico City", Chapultepec Park is a vast oasis of lush greenery in the heart of the Mexican capital, sprawling over 686 hectares of land, providing a vital source of oxygen for the city. Rich in natural beauty, historical landmarks, and vibrant atmosphere, throughout centuries, this park has inspired various works of literature, poetry, and visual art, further...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.8 Km or 2.4 Miles
Historic Center Walking Tour

Historic Center Walking Tour

Mexico City is the oldest capital in the Americas and is one of the two founded by indigenous people. Originally known as Mexico Tenochtitlan, the city was built by the Mexicas (aka Aztecs) in 1325. According to a legend, the Mexicas' principal god, Huitzilopochtli, pointed out the site of the future settlement with an image of a golden eagle perched on a prickly pear cactus, devouring a...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 Km or 1.7 Miles
Coyoacan District Walking Tour

Coyoacan District Walking Tour

Translated from the Nahuatle language as “The Land of Coyotes”, Coyoacán is a relatively quiet neighborhood in the southern part of Mexico City. Formerly a rural village, over the years Coyoacán has become a rich pocket of art and history in the capital, closely associated with some iconic figures of the 20th century and the tumultuous times in which they lived.

One of its most famous...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 Km or 1.6 Miles
Historic Center Food Tour

Historic Center Food Tour

A combination of history and tradition in Mexico City permeates all aspects of life, including food. For centuries, food and drink have been an inseparable part of the city's culture. Within Mexico City's bustling historic center, you can find a variety of culinary gems that offer a taste of what we call diverse Mexican cuisine.

One of the must-visit spots here is the San Juan Market....  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.6 Km or 1 Miles
Zona Rosa Walking Tour

Zona Rosa Walking Tour

Zona Rosa, or "Pink Zone" in English, is a vibrant neighborhood near the historic center of the Mexican capital which is known for its lively atmosphere and diverse cultural scene. The neighborhood's name comes from the pink-colored tiles abundantly used to pave the local streets.

The area rose to prominence in the early 20th century as a residential district for the wealthy...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.7 Km or 2.3 Miles

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