We’ll show you how a visit to Chapultepec Castle is, a place that has been home to several actors of Mexico history.
The Bosque de Chapultepec (Chapultepec forest) is a green area in Mexico City, revered since the times of Tenochtitlan. It has seen how the city has been transformed and it has the only castle built in Latin America (in 1785), which we would go to visit: Chapultepec Castle.
On our first visit to Mexico City we went to visit this place that I had only seen in history books.
It may interest you: Travel through Mexico, travel tips and itinerary
Altar to the Fatherland
We are walking towards the castle and we find this imposing altar that was inaugurated on September 27, 1952. In it are six columns that represent the cadets who defended the old Military College during the US invasion. What in history class we learn as “the hero children.” In this place are their remains in fact together with those of General Felipe Santiago Xicoténcatl.
Cost of admission: free
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Visit to Chapultepec Castle
The castle was built as a place for rest during the viceroyalty of Bernardo de Gálvez. Throughout the history of Mexico it has had various uses, for example it was the home of Maximiliano and Carlota from 1874 to 1867. In 1833 it became the headquarters of the Military College and in 1847 it was the scene of the Battle of Chapultepec, one of the battles most significant of the country in which its facilities were defended from the US invasion by a group of young cadets that today we know as “Los Niños Héroes” (the hero children).
The castle is located on the hill of the chapulín (grasshopper). Chapultepec, in the Nahuatl language means “On the hill of grasshopper”.
At the Chapultepec Castle there is also the National Museum of History. On February 3, 1939, it was declared historical monument, a project that opened its doors to the population in 1944.
Visiting hours: from 9 AM to 5 PM
How much does the entrance to the Chapultepec castle cost? 80 pesos (free on Sundays)
Gardens and exterior
Very beautiful 🙂 the castle tower was perfect ^^ I loved seeing it. From the second floor you can see the Paseo de la Reforma and the apartment is very shiny. As if for a moment I imagined the times when the castle was used as the residence of the emperors and presidential residence, several elegant gatherings must have been carried out there.
Inside the castle
Like the exteriors, they exude beauty and attest that in Mexico there is a real castle 😀 I especially loved the stained glass windows and the ceiling painting representing the cadet who launched himself with the Mexican flag so that the US soldiers would not take it when they invaded us.
In it, works from different periods in the history of Mexico are exhibited, including Maximiliano’s coach. I do not remember if it was forbidden to take photos of the rooms but I suppose it was since I do not have any photos of the museum areas 🙁 (If someone has been there more recently and knows about it, can you tell us?)
Los niños héroes (the hero children)
The events occurred during the US invasion of 1847. Under whatever pretext they invaded Mexico and upon reaching the castle, which at that time was a military college, there were about 700 soldiers and several cadets waiting for them.
The six cadets who passed to history were Juan de la Barrera, originally from the City of Mexico, born in 1828; Juan Escutia, born in Tepic, Nayarit, around 1830; Francisco Márquez, born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, in 1834; Agustín Melgar, a native of Chihuahua, born between 1828 and 1832; Fernando Montes de Oca, originally from Azcapotzalco, and Vicente Suárez, who was born in Puebla in 1833. All very young. They were between 14 and 19 years old.
They heroically resisted the invaders but on the second day they perished and, as I already told you about the painting above, the story tells that one of them threw himself wrapped in the flag so that they would not take it. After this, their remains were not found until after a century when they were discovered in the Chapultepec forest and officially recognized as such in 1947. Nowadays they rest in the Altar to the Fatherland.
More of the Chapultepec forest
The forest is huge, there is also a zoo but we did not visit it even though it makes me curious. I’m not a mega fan of zoos, I always remember a lady on television talking about animal conservation efforts and, I don’t know, she seemed genuinely concerned about having the zoo in good condition, but of course I saw it with the eyes of a child and I could never verify it.
We also saw Lake Chapultepec and several statues in the shape of animals. The grasshoppers, obviously, could not miss 😀
The atmosphere was very nice, everything super familiar.
And what about you? would you like to visit the Chapultepec forest and Castle? Tell us about it!