If Mexico City was a person it would be described as cool and confident. This is the big city. There is so much culture and history to unravel and incredible energy that holds this unique blend together. It is one of the most exciting cities we’ve ever been to. There are many attractions to enjoy in the city, including many incredible museums. One of our favourites to explore was the National Museum of History, located inside of the historic Chapultepec Castle.
Mexico City attracts tourists and residents from around the country. It has grown to become the largest city in Mexico, with over 8 million people in the city center and over 21 in the greater metropolitan area. The list of things to do in Mexico City is endless. It can be overwhelming at times. The Castle has been used for many purposes since its construction began in 1785. Its uses have included observatory, imperial residence, military academy and presidential home. It has been used to house the National Museum of History Since 1939.
The Museum of National History
The castle is built on top of a natural hill in the heart of Mexico City, and surrounded by one of the largest urban parks in the western hemisphere. Chapultepec Castle has played an important role at various stages of the countries history, which makes it the perfect setting to tell the story of the country’s formation.
The history of Mexico dates back thousands of years before the arrival of the Spanish. The Museum of National History mostly tells the story of after the colonization. We showcased our adventure through Chapultepec Castle earlier this week and today we’re focusing on the artwork found inside the museum.
The museum does an excellent job to show off the transformation from early Spanish Rule (the conquest), through the colonial era of New Spain, and following the road to independence through war, reform and revolution.
The Artwork, Murals and Royal Rooms
The castle has been home to presidents, viceroys and archbishops and was even home to the Emperor Maximillian, who ruled Mexico during the Second Empire on behalf of the Hapsburg Empire in Europe.
As a result of these former residents, there are many elements of the castle which are quite extravagant. Many of the rooms of the castle have been restored to show off different eras of the castle. These rooms act as time capsules, and have been incorporated as part of the museum.
There are many different things shown off at the museum including sculptures, paintings and historic items. Together, they help to piece together the modern history of the country.
Some of the art has become part of the museum itself. There are even large scale murals by famous muralists like Juan O’Gorman, José Clemente Orozco, David Alfaro Siqueiros and Jorge González Camarena.
The Museum of National History was definitely one of the highlights of out visit to Mexico City. There are some pretty incredible views of the city from the balconies of the castle. It was one of the most rewarding destinations during our most recent trip to the city.