Castle at the grasshopper’s hill

This post is part of my Mexico travel series: Travel stories | Photo gallery

Chapultepec Castle, built on top of a sacred Aztec site


↑ Chapultepec Castle and entrance to the museum inside it

Sundays are free museum days in Mexico city and Chapultepec park, located west of downtown Mexico city, gets pretty crowded. Large families throng the manicured lawns, having picnics and visiting numerous attractions nearby, such as the Museum of Anthropology, performance of the Flying Men dancers, boating in the lake, Chapultepec castle, National History museum, Observatory, Niños Héroes monument, and other sights.

Castillo de Chapultepec

The castle is enormous and appears quite imposing over the small hill. Views of the city from here are nice too. The castle’s construction was started in 1725 and was bought by the Mexico city government in 1806.


↑ Spectacular stained glass windows and beautiful murals and wall paintings on side walls and floor.

It feels royal to enter through the main entrance and climb the stairwell to go upstairs. The walls are richly decorated and the building’s interior architectural features are lavish.


↑ Interiors of the castle, I loved the symmetry. It was heartening to watch well behaved kids 😀

The castle has a blend of architectural styles: Neo-romantic, Neo-classical and Neo-Gothic. I cannot quite distinguish between late Baroque and neo-classical styles but I believe it has to do with how independently the sculptures and planes are treated with respect to the building features.


↑ The emblem is the Aztec pictogram for Tenochtitlan (now Mexico City), the center of their empire. It recalls the legend that inspired the Aztecs to settle on what was originally a lake-island. This emblem is part of the Mexican flag

Museum of National History

The museum is located inside the Chapultepec Castle (I don’t remember any clear lines of demarcation!) It has a number of showrooms that house objects from various stages in Mexican history, including the foundation of the Spanish Empire (known in Mexico as “The Conquest”), the New Spain and the Viceregal era (known in Mexico as “The Colonial epoch”), the Mexican War of Independence, the Reform movement and the Revolution of 1910.


↑ Scene depicting the Independence movement of Mexico.


↑ The guard shoo’ed me away before I could read what this was. I was carrying a hand-tripod to take HDR pictures, but for some reason, they didn’t like the equipment.


↑ Gift Shop seen from the upper gallery

Logistics

A short subway ride from Mexico city’s downtown plaza, this castle and the attractions nearby is worth a day’s excursion. Once you are here, checkout the Museum of Anthropology, Flying Men dance, the lake, Niños Héroes monument, and other funny sights such as kids on a leash.

This post is part of my Mexico travel series: Travel stories | Photo gallery