Chapultepec Castle

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The National Museum of History in the historic Chapultepec Castle. This castle, which strictly speaking is not considered one, was built from 1785 to 1787. The Viceroy Bernardo de Gálvez ordered its construction with the purpose of creating a resting place for viceroys during their stay in  New Spain.


At the Chapultepec Castle
Terrace at the Chapultepec Castle

Once the viceregal period ended, the building had a variety of uses. It became the seat of the Military School, and the place where the decisive battle in the Mexican-American War against the United States Army in 1847 took place. It was also the imperial residence of Maximilian and Carlota, and finally, residence of various Mexican Presidents.

Entrance to the Chapultepec Castle
Entrance to the Chapultepec Castle

General Lazaro Cardenas ordered the building turned into a space in which collections and objects owned by historical figures in Mexico’s history be kept

Once turned into a cultural site, mural paintings of Juan O’Gorman (including: El retablo de la Independencia, El feudalismo porfirista y Sufragio efectivo, no reelección), José Clemente Orozco (La Reforma y la caída del Imperio), and David Alfaro Siqueiros (Del porfirismo a la Revolución), among other painters, adorned the walls.

Chapultepec Castle Music room
Chapultepec Castle Music room

The Chapultepec Castle opened as museum on September 27, 1944. There are two areas for exhibits. The first, which used to house the old Military School, includes rooms from the periods spanning the Conquest until the Revolution of 1910. The second, the Alcazar or palace, exhibits furniture of Emperor Maximilian and his wife Carlota, and of General Porfirio Diaz and his wife, Carmen Romero Rubio. There are more than 40 rooms that synthesize the history of Mexico.

Pictorial works are on show as well as sculptures, costumes, historical technology, numismatics, musical instruments, silverware, ceramic objects, flags, carriages and documents.

The museum holds an auditorium, a room for temporary exhibits, library, photography room, bookstore and cafeteria. Other educational services include guided tours, services for school groups, audio-guides, a sound library, and spaces for cultural events, conferences and concerts.

This has been the home of many exhibitions over the years.


Visit the Castillo de Chapultepec in Chapultepec Park, Section I, Mexico City, phone +52 55 4040 5215 Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 9 to 5. Located.

Other sites of interest nearby include: Museum of Modern Art, Rufino Tamayo Museum of Contemporary Art and the National Museum of Anthropology and History.