Chapultepec Castle, Mexico City

Chapultepec Castle, Mexico City (must see)

Commanding spectacular views of Mexico City, this castle is the only structure to have served as a seat of a sovereign in North America. The building stands majestically on Chapultepec Hill and now houses the National Museum of History.

The Castillo de Chapultepec was built for the then Spanish viceroy, Bernardo de Galvez in 1725. The building was purchased by the city of Mexico in 1806. In 1833, the castle became a military academy and a tower called the Caballero Alto (Tall Knight) was added to the existing structure. In 1847, boy heroes aged between 14 and 20 died defending the castle when US troops laid siege. They were later honored by a mural in the ceiling at the entrance of the castle. In 1864, Emperor Maximilian I and his Empress Carlota of Mexico chose the building as their residence and extensive changes were made to the architecture and landscape to make it a palace, fit for a king. In 1882, Porfirio Diaz converted the castle as the official residence of the Mexican President.

In 1939, the castle ceased to be the residence of the President and was open to visitors as the National Museum of History. The museum is arranged in chronological order and one can see exhibits from the Aztec Empire until 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.

Opening Hours:
Tue-Sun: 9am-5pm
Sight description based on Wikipedia.

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 iTunes App Store or Google Play. 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.
Museums Walking Tour

Museums Walking Tour

Mexico City is one of the most dazzling cultural sites in the world, boosting many fascinating museums in the city. Mexico City also has a rich history of artistic expressions. It was home to the Aztec civilization and the Spanish Empire both of which have left behind an impressive heritage and a unique culture. Take this self guided walk to explore the rich culture heritage that Mexico City has...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 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
Souvenir Shopping

Souvenir Shopping

Mesoamerican civilizations established open-air marketplaces for trade and commerce, and after the Spanish conquest, many important pre-Colombian markets continued to operate throughout the New World. Often atmospheric and interesting, neighborhood markets are hands down the best places to shop for fruits and vegetables, but also for crafts, antiques, paintings, art objects, jewelry, and more....  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 Km or 1.9 Miles
Mexico City's Nightlife

Mexico City's Nightlife

Mexico City is one of the largest cities in the world and also one of the most populated. Its nightlife is all about amazing music, great drinks and thrilling fun. The music here is mainly a combination of Spanish and English-language rock, electronic music, some Latin/Caribbean music, Latin pop, and sometimes traditional Mexican music. Take this self guided tour to enjoy the unique nightlife...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 Km or 1.1 Miles
Famous Religious Edifices Walking Tour

Famous Religious Edifices Walking Tour

After Hernán Cortés conquered the city of Tenochtitlán in the early 16th century, the Spanish razed the Mexica temples and built Catholic churches atop their remains. Coming from a deeply religious atmosphere in Spain, colonial missionaries were active throughout the land, establishing an abundance of Catholic churches, schools, and hospitals. Every religious building in this city is now a part...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.9 Km or 1.2 Miles
Historic Center Food Tour

Historic Center Food Tour

A combination of history and tradition in Mexico City permeates all aspects of life, and the food scene is no exception. For centuries, food and drink have been an inseparable part of the city's culture manifested in notable markets and eateries, and some truly amazing recipes making up what we call the Mexican cuisine. This self-guided tour allows you to explore some of the top food-related...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.7 Km or 1.1 Miles

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