Chapultepec Castle

Chapultepec Castle is an immense stone edifice that sits atop a hill in the heart of Mexico City built by the Spanish in 1725 as a large manor house for their viceroy and commander-in-chief of the colony, New Spain.

It has been used as a residence, military academy, and presidential palace throughout its history.

The castle was originally constructed by viceroy Bernardo de Gálvez for himself and his family and was designed to be a large manor house set on the crest of Chapultepec Hill, offering sweeping views of the surrounding city from its balconies and terraces.

In 1775, Carlos III ordered that the building be turned into a military academy for cadets studying at San Carlos Seminary College.

It was during this time that Emperor Maximilian I and Empress Carlota took up residence in Chapultepec Castle after they were forced out of Europe by Napoleon III and installed as monarchs of Mexico by French-backed Mexican monarchy supporters in 1864.

The couple lived there with their three children until Maximilian's execution in 1867 during the Second Mexican Empire's collapse at the end of the American Civil War.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Mexico City
El Zocalo
One of the world’s biggest city squares with an iconic Bandera monumental, which was once the ceremonial centre of Tenochtitlan, the capital of the Aztec empire. Today it is known as Plaza de la Constitución.
Catedral Metropolitana
The Catedral Metropolitana in Mexico City is one of Mexico’s most iconic structures and a monument to the country’s history and the largest cathedral in Latin America.
Templo Mayor
The Templo Mayor or Great Temple (called Hueteocalli by the Aztecs) was the heart of the Aztec empire, a site where people would come to worship their gods. It was also a place of sacrifice, where human beings were killed as offerings to the gods.
Museo Nacional de Historia
Shows Mexico's history from Cortes to the 1910 Revolution
Museo Nacional de Antropologia
The National Museum of Anthropology is the largest and most visited museum in Mexico, which was opened on September 21, 1964, by then-President Adolfo López Mateos, who dedicated it to the people of Mexico.
Tlatelolco was the most important commercial centre in pre-Hispanic times. In Nahuatl, Tlatelolco can be translated to "terrace" (Tlatelli) or "sandy point" (Xaltilolli).

Related Tours

Chapultepec & the National Museum of Anthropology: Private Tour

Chapultepec is a vast park that is home to dozens of museums, monuments and landmarks. Explore two of the most important sites: Chapultepec Castle, which has been the official residence of Mexican presidents since 1940; and the National Museum of Anthropology, where you'll find some of the most spectacular pre-Hispanic artefacts in all of Mexico with a private tour guide.

On this private full-day tour, you will:

  • Visit the main rooms of the National Museum of Anthropology (MNA) and see The Sun Stone or Aztec Calendar, one of the main highlights of the museum;
  • Enjoy a guided tour of the Chapultepec Castle, the former residence for Mexican Emperors which still reigns as the only castle in North America that actually served as a residence for royalty;
  • Explore Chapultepec Castle Gardens, one of the attractions of the park that locals and tourists alike love to visit.

Discover Chapultepec, in Nahuatl: “Hill of the Grasshopper”, where magic, history and art are connected.

This iconic forest of Chapultepec is twice the size of New York's Central Park and is the largest green area in Mexico City, one of the largest and busiest cities on the continent.

During your tour, enjoy a guided tour of the National Museum of Anthropology which is located inside the Castle exploring the main rooms and uncovering the symbolism of some of the most important pieces exhibited.

You will also visit the only "Royal Castle" in America, its beautiful gardens and the incredible view of Paseo de la Reforma. 



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