National Museum of History

El Castillo de Chapultepec (The Chapultepec Castle) in Mexico City, Mexico
••• Chapultepec Castle is home to Mexico's National History Museum. Tais Policanti / Getty Images

The National History Museum is located in Chapultepec Castle, a historic building of great symbolic and historical value for Mexicans. The construction of this building began in 1785 by order of Bernardo de Galvez, who was viceroy of New Spain at the time. Originally created as a summer home, over time, the building was adapted to different uses, serving as a military college, an astronomical observatory, official residence to Emperor Maximilian of Hapsburg and Empress Carlota, then presidential residence.

In 1944 it was inaugurated as the Museo Nacional de Historia.

About the National Museum of History:

Mexico City's National Museum of History offers an overview of the history of Mexico from the conquest and formation of New Spain up to the early twentieth century. The museum exhibits are divided intotwo main sections: the former military school and what is referred to as the Alcázar which contains furnishings and the personal belongings of people who lived here, including Emperor Maximilian and Empress Carlota, and president Porfirio Diaz, among others, as well as objects which belonged to the heroes of Mexican Independence and the Mexican Revolution.

Highlights:

  • Murals by several important Mexican artists, including Juan O'Gorman, David Alfaro Siqueiros and José Clemente Orozco
  • Horse drawn carriages which were used by Maximilian and Carlota, as well as one used by Benito Juarez
  • The building itself, for its architecture, as well as the fact that many important events in Mexican history took place here

    Location:

    The museum is located inside the Castillo de Chapultepec (Chapultepec Castle) in the Primera Seccion (First Section) of Chapultepec Park, within the park gates, next to the lake and near the zoo.

    Getting there:

    Take the metro Line 1 to Chapultepec station, enter the park, pass the monument to the Niños Heroes and you will find the ramp leading up to the museum.

    Auditorio metro station is also fairly close.

    If taking the Turibus, get off at the stop near the Anthropology Museum, enter the park gates and follow the signs from there.

    The museum is accessed by a ramp that starts at the foot of the hill, and leads to the castle's gate. The walk is pleasant and offers nice views, but it is on an incline. If you're not up for the walk, you can take the little scenic train.

    Hours:

    9 am to 5 pm Tuesday to Sunday. Closed on Mondays.

    Admission:

    64 pesos. Admission is free on Sundays for Mexican citizens and residents.

    History Museum Online:

    Website: National Museum of History (in Spanish only)
    Twitter: @Museodehistoria
    Facebook: Museo de Historia

    Services at the Museum:

    • Coat check: It is not permitted to enter the museum with bags and packages. You will need to leave your belongings at the coat check, which is complimentary.

    More Museums in Chapultepec Park

    Chapultepec Park is home to many museums. Some others that you might consider visiting while you're there include the National Museum of Anthropology and the Museo Caracol, which are right nearby. See our list of Museums in Chapultepec for more ideas.