Chapultepec Castle (Castillo de Chapultepec) is a beautiful building perched on a hill above Mexico City. The castle was designed in the 18th century as a country home for the local Spanish viceroy. It has since served many functions, including as a military academy and a presidential palace, among others. Today, its preserved interior is open to visitors and it houses the National Museum of History. Learn the story of the castle as well as the history of “New Spain” and Mexico’s struggle for independence.
The lower levels of the castle house the National Museum of History. Find weapons, jewelry, costumes and letters tracking Mexico’s history from Spanish colonization in the 16th century, to the Mexican Revolution in 1910. See the sword used by José Maria Morelos, a Mexican hero, in battle against the Spanish in 1812. There are coins from the era of Spanish rule and an early edition of the Mexican constitution. The museum also includes a collection of sculptures, paintings and murals depicting Mexican life and important moments in the country’s history.
The upper floors have been preserved as the home of Emperor Maximilian I of Mexico and his wife Carlota. Explore the opulent rooms, complete with gold chandeliers and lavish dining areas. Snap a photo from the deck, which looks out over Mexico City. Outside, take a walk amongst the flower gardens and admire the sandstone archways and pillars of the European architecture.
Chapultepec Castle is located at the top of Chapultepec Hill in central Mexico City. The walk up the hill can be tough, but there is a light rail option that costs a few pesos and runs every 15 minutes from downtown. The castle is open Tuesday to Sunday. Head down to Chapultepec Park to picnic in the expansive grounds afterwards.