Chapultepec Castle

Last updated
Chapultepec Castle
Castillo de Chapultepec
Castillo de Chapultepec (Museo Nacional de Historia).JPG
View of Chapultepec Castle from the Northeast
Location map Mexico City.png
Red pog.svg
Location in Mexico City
General information
Architectural style Neo-romanticism, Neoclassical, Neo-Gothic
Location Miguel Hidalgo, Mexico City, Mexico
Coordinates 19°25′14″N99°10′54″W / 19.42056°N 99.18167°W / 19.42056; -99.18167
Elevation2,325 metres (7,628 ft) above sea level
Current tenants Museo Nacional de Historia
Construction startedc. 1785
Completed1863
Height220 feet (67 m)
Design and construction
ArchitectEleuterio Méndez, Ramón Cruz Arango ity, Julius Hofmann, Carl Gangolf Kayser, Carlos Schaffer
Other designers Maximilian I of Mexico

Chapultepec Castle (Spanish : Castillo de Chapultepec) is located on top of Chapultepec Hill. The name Chapultepec stems from the Nahuatl word chapoltepēc which means "at the grasshopper's hill". The castle has such unparalleled views and terraces that historian James F. Elton wrote that they can't "be surpassed in beauty in any part of the world". [1] [2] It is located in the middle of Chapultepec Park in Mexico City at a height of 2,325 meters (7,628 ft) above sea level. The site of the hill was a sacred place for Aztecs, and the buildings atop it have served several purposes during its history, including that of Military Academy, Imperial residence, Presidential home, observatory, and presently, the National Museum of History. [3]

Spanish language Romance language

Spanish or Castilian is a Romance language that originated in the Castile region of Spain and today has hundreds of millions of native speakers in the Americas and Spain. It is a global language and the world's second-most spoken native language, after Mandarin Chinese.

Chapultepec hill

Chapultepec, more commonly called the "Bosque de Chapultepec" in Mexico City, is one of the largest city parks in the Western Hemisphere, measuring in total just over 686 hectares. Centered on a rock formation called Chapultepec Hill, one of the park's main functions is an ecological space in Greater Mexico City. It is considered the first and most important of Mexico City's "lungs", with trees that replenish oxygen to the Valley of Mexico. The park area has been inhabited and considered a landmark since the Pre-Columbian era, when it became a retreat for Aztec rulers. In the colonial period, Chapultepec Castle was built here, eventually becoming the official residence of Mexican heads of state. It would remain so until 1940, when it was moved to another part of the park called Los Pinos.

Nahuatl, known historically as Aztec, is a language or group of languages of the Uto-Aztecan language family. Varieties of Nahuatl are spoken by about 1.7 million Nahua peoples, most of whom live in central Mexico.

Contents

It is the only royal castle in the Americas. [4] It was built at the time of the Viceroyalty as summer house for the viceroy. It was given various uses, from the gunpowder warehouse to the military academy in 1841. It became the official residence of Emperor Maximilian I and his consort Empress Carlota during the Second Mexican Empire (1864-1867). In 1882, President Manuel González declared it the official residence of the President. With few exceptions, all succeeding presidents lived there until 1939, when President Lázaro Cárdenas turned it into a museum.

Castle Fortified residential structure of medieval Europe

A castle is a type of fortified structure built during the Middle Ages by predominantly the nobility or royalty and by military orders. Scholars debate the scope of the word castle, but usually consider it to be the private fortified residence of a lord or noble. This is distinct from a palace, which is not fortified; from a fortress, which was not always a residence for royalty or nobility; and from a fortified settlement, which was a public defence – though there are many similarities among these types of construction. Usage of the term has varied over time and has been applied to structures as diverse as hill forts and country houses. Over the approximately 900 years that castles were built, they took on a great many forms with many different features, although some, such as curtain walls and arrowslits, were commonplace.

Americas Landmass comprising North America, Central America and South America

The Americas comprise the totality of the continents of North and South America. Together, they make up most of the land in Earth's western hemisphere and comprise the New World.

A viceroy is an official who runs a country, colony, city, province, or sub-national state, in the name of and as the representative of the monarch of the territory. The term derives from the Latin prefix vice-, meaning "in the place of" and the French word roy, meaning "king". A viceroy's territory may be called a viceroyalty, though this term is not always applied. The adjective form is viceregal, less often viceroyal. The term vicereine is sometimes used to indicate a female viceroy suo jure, although viceroy can serve as a gender-neutral term. Vicereine is more commonly used to indicate a viceroy's wife.

Colonial period

In 1785 Viceroy Bernardo de Gálvez ordered the construction of a stately home for himself at the highest point of Chapultepec Hill. Francisco Bambitelli, Lieutenant Colonel of the Spanish Army and engineer, drew up the blueprint and began the construction on August 16 of the same year.

Engineer Professional practitioner of engineering and its sub classes

Engineers, as practitioners of engineering, are professionals who invent, design, analyze, build, and test machines, systems, structures and materials to fulfill objectives and requirements while considering the limitations imposed by practicality, regulation, safety, and cost. The word engineer is derived from the Latin words ingeniare and ingenium ("cleverness"). The foundational qualifications of an engineer typically include a four-year bachelor's degree in an engineering discipline, or in some jurisdictions, a master's degree in an engineering discipline plus four to six years of peer-reviewed professional practice and passage of engineering board examinations.

Blueprint document reproduction produced by using a contact print process on light-sensitive sheets

A blueprint is a reproduction of a technical drawing using a contact print process on light-sensitive sheets. Introduced by Sir John Herschel in 1842, the process allowed rapid, and accurate, production of an unlimited number of copies. It was widely used for over a century for the reproduction of specification drawings used in construction and industry. The blueprint process was characterised by white lines on a blue background, a negative of the original. The process was not able to reproduce colour or shades of grey.

After Bambitelli's departure to Havana, Captain Manuel Agustín Mascaró took over the leadership of the project and during his tenure the works proceeded at a rapid pace. Mascaró was accused of building a fortress with the intent of rebelling against the Spanish Crown from there. Bernardo, the viceroy, died suddenly on November 8, 1786, fueling speculation that he was poisoned. No evidence has yet been found which supports this claim.

Havana Capital city of Cuba

Havana is the capital city, largest city, province, major port, and leading commercial center of Cuba. The city has a population of 2.1 million inhabitants, and it spans a total of 781.58 km2 (301.77 sq mi) – making it the largest city by area, the most populous city, and the fourth largest metropolitan area in the Caribbean region.

Lacking a head engineer, the Spanish Crown ordered that the building be auctioned at a price equivalent to one-fifth of the quantity thus far spent thereon. After finding no buyers Viceroy Juan Vicente de Güemes Pacheco de Padilla y Horcasitas intended the building to house the General Archive of the Kingdom of the New Spain; that idea was not to prosper either despite already having the blueprints adapted for this purpose.

Alexander von Humboldt visited the site in 1803 and condemned the sale of the palace’s windows by the Royal Treasury as a way of raising funds for the Crown. The building was finally bought in 1806 by the municipal government of Mexico City.

Alexander von Humboldt Prussian geographer, naturalist and explorer

Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich Alexander von Humboldt was a Prussian polymath, geographer, naturalist, explorer, and influential proponent of Romantic philosophy and science. He was the younger brother of the Prussian minister, philosopher, and linguist Wilhelm von Humboldt (1767–1835). Humboldt's quantitative work on botanical geography laid the foundation for the field of biogeography. Humboldt's advocacy of long-term systematic geophysical measurement laid the foundation for modern geomagnetic and meteorological monitoring.

Independence

Chapultepec Castle was abandoned during the Mexican War of Independence (1810–1821) and for many years later, until 1833. In that year the building was decreed to become the location of the Colegio Militar (Military Academy); as a sequence of several structural modifications had to be done, including the addition of the watchtower known as Caballero Alto ("Tall Knight").

On September 13, 1847, the Niños Héroes ("Hero Children") died defending the castle while it was taken by United States forces during the Battle of Chapultepec of the Mexican–American War. They are honored with a large mural on the ceiling above the main entrance to the castle. [5]

The United States Marine Corps honors the Battle of Chapultepec and the subsequent occupation of Mexico City through the first line of the "Marines' Hymn," From the Halls of Montezuma. [6] Marine Corps tradition maintains that the red stripe worn on the trousers of officers and noncommissioned officers, and commonly known as the blood stripe commemorates the high number of Marine NCOs and officers killed storming the castle of Chapultepec in 1847.

Several new rooms were built on the second floor of the palace during the tenure of President Miguel Miramón, who was also an alumnus of the Military Academy.

Second Mexican Empire

Maximilian I of Mexico by Winterhalter, 1864. This portrait hangs in the castle today X-Large Portrait of Maximiliano.jpg
Maximilian I of Mexico by Winterhalter, 1864. This portrait hangs in the castle today
Carlota of Mexico in Chapultepec Castle Charlotte, Empress of Mexico.jpg
Carlota of Mexico in Chapultepec Castle

The castle, now known as Castillo de Miravalle, started to acquire its current look during the Second Mexican Empire, when Emperor Maximilian I of Mexico and his wife Empress Carlota chose it as their residence and the seat of their Court in 1864. The Emperor hired several European and Mexican architects, among them Julius Hofmann, Carl Gangolf Kayser, Carlos Schaffer, Eleuterio Méndez and Ramón Cruz Arango, [7] to design the several projects, which followed a neoclassical style and made the palace more habitable. European architects Kayser and Hofmann worked on several other revival castles, including Neuschwanstein Castle [8] – built by Maximilian's Wittelsbach cousin Ludwig II of Bavaria twenty years after Chapultepec's renovation.

Botanist Wilhelm Knechtel was in charge of creating the aerial garden located on the roof of the building. Additionally, the Emperor brought from Europe countless pieces of furniture, objets d'art and other fine household items that are exhibited to this day.

At this time, the castle was still located on the outskirts of Mexico City. Maximilian ordered the construction of a straight boulevard (modeled after the great boulevards of Europe, such as Vienna's Ringstrasse and the Champs-Élysées in Paris), to connect the Imperial residence with the city centre, and named it Paseo de la Emperatriz ("Promenade of the Empress"). Following the reestablishment of the Republic in 1867 by President Benito Juárez and the end of the Reform War (Guerra de Reforma) the boulevard was renamed Paseo de la Reforma.

Modern era to present

Escalier entree chateau Chapultepec.jpg
Inside the Chapultepec Castle

The castle fell into disuse after the fall of the Second Mexican Empire in 1867. in 1876, a decree established it as an Astronomical, Meteorological and Magnetic Observatory on the site, which was opened in 1878. However, the observatory was only functional for five years until they decided to move it to the former residence of the Archbishop in Tacubaya. The reason was to allow the return of the Colegio Militar to the premises as well as transforming the building into the presidential residence.

Garden view Cour observatoire chateau Chapultepec.jpg
Garden view

The palace underwent several structural changes from 1882 and during the presidency of Porfirio Díaz. The other Presidents who made the palace their official residence were Francisco I. Madero, Venustiano Carranza, Álvaro Obregón, Plutarco Elías Calles, Emilio Portes Gil, Pascual Ortiz Rubio and Abelardo Rodríguez. It was used for a time as an official guest house or residence for foreign dignitaries.

Finally on February 3, 1939, President Lázaro Cárdenas decreed a law establishing Chapultepec Castle as the seat of the National Museum of History (Museo Nacional de Historia) with the collections of the former National Museum of Archaeology, History and Ethnography, (now the National Museum of Cultures). The museum was opened on September 27, 1944. President Cárdenas moved the official Mexican presidential residence to Los Pinos, and never lived in Chapultepec Castle.

See also

Related Research Articles

Palace grand residence, especially a royal residence or the home of a head of state

A palace is a grand residence, especially a royal residence, or the home of a head of state or some other high-ranking dignitary, such as a bishop or archbishop.

Maximilian I of Mexico emperor of Mexico

Maximilian I was the only monarch of the Second Mexican Empire. He was a younger brother of the Austrian emperor Franz Joseph I. After a distinguished career in the Austrian Navy as its commander, he accepted an offer by Napoleon III of France to rule Mexico, conditional on a national plebiscite in his favour. France, together with Spain and the United Kingdom, invaded the Mexican Republic in the winter of 1861, ostensibly to collect debts; the Spanish and British both withdrew the following year after negotiating agreements with Mexico's republican government, while France sought to conquer the country. Seeking to legitimize French rule, Napoleon III invited Maximilian to establish a new pro-French Mexican monarchy. With the support of the French army and a group of conservative Mexican monarchists hostile to the liberal administration of the new Mexican president, Benito Juárez, Maximilian was offered the position of Emperor of Mexico, which he accepted on 10 April 1864.

Carlota of Mexico Empress of Mexico

Carlota of Mexico was a Belgian princess who became Empress of Mexico by marriage to Emperor Maximilian I of Mexico.

Paseo de la Reforma Mexico City avenue

Paseo de la Reforma is a wide avenue that runs diagonally across the heart of Mexico City. It was designed by Ferdinand von Rosenzweig in the 1860s and modeled after the great boulevards of Europe, such as the Ringstraße in Vienna and the Champs-Élysées in Paris. After the French intervention in Mexico overthrew the constitutional President Benito Juárez, the newly crowned Emperor Maximilian made his mark on the conquered city. He commissioned a grand avenue linking the city center with his imperial residence, Chapultepec Castle, which was then on the southwestern edge of town. The project was originally named Paseo de la Emperatriz in honor of Maximilian's consort and second cousin Empress Carlota. After her return to Europe and Maximilian's subsequent execution, the restored Juárez government renamed the Paseo in honor of the Reform War.

Tokyo Imperial Palace main residence of the Emperor of Japan

The Tokyo Imperial Palace is the primary residence of the Emperor of Japan. It is a large park-like area located in the Chiyoda ward of Tokyo and contains buildings including the main palace, the private residences of the Imperial Family, an archive, museums and administrative offices.

Miramare Castle castle in Trieste, Italy

Miramare Castle is a 19th-century castle on the Gulf of Trieste near Trieste, northeastern Italy. It was built from 1856 to 1860 for Austrian Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian and his wife, Charlotte of Belgium, later Emperor Maximilian I and Empress Carlota of Mexico, based on a design by Carl Junker.

Miguel Miramón Mexican politician

Miguel Gregorio de la Luz Atenógenes Miramón y Tarelo, known as Miguel Miramón, was a Mexican conservative general and politician. He served as anti-constitutional interim conservative President of Mexico in opposition to the constitutional president, Benito Juárez of the Liberal Party. He was one the youngest rulers and the first not born during Spanish colonial rule.

Second Mexican Empire 1864-1867 monarchy in Central America

The Mexican Empire or Second Mexican Empire was the name of Mexico under a limited hereditary monarchy declared by the Assembly of Notables on July 10, 1863, during the Second French intervention in Mexico. It was created with the support of Napoleon III of France, who attempted to establish a monarchist ally in the Americas. A referendum confirmed Austrian Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian, of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine, as Emperor Maximilian I of Mexico.

Los Pinos Cultural Complex

Los Pinos was the official residence and office of the President of Mexico from 1934 to 2018. Located in the Bosque de Chapultepec in central Mexico City, it became the presidential seat in 1934, when Gen. Lázaro Cárdenas became the first president to live here. The term Los Pinos became a metonym for the Presidency of Mexico.

Official residence Residence at which a nations head of state, head of government, governor or other senior figure officially resides

An official residence is the residence at which a nation's head of state, head of government, governor, religious leader, leaders of international organizations, or other senior figure officially resides. It may or may not be the same location where the individual conducts work-related functions or lives.

Hofburg palace located in Vienna, Austria

The Hofburg is the former principal imperial palace of the Habsburg dynasty rulers and today serves as the official residence and workplace of the President of Austria. It is located in the center of Vienna and was built in the 13th century and expanded several times afterwards. It also served as the imperial winter residence, as Schönbrunn Palace was the summer residence.

Munich Residenz building in Old Town, Upper Bavaria, Germany

The Residenz in central Munich is the former royal palace of the Wittelsbach monarchs of Bavaria. The Residenz is the largest city palace in Germany and is today open to visitors for its architecture, room decorations, and displays from the former royal collections.

Wilhelm Knechtel was an ethnic German Austrian-Romanian gardener and botanist.

National Palace (Mexico) palace in Mexico City

The National Palace is the seat of the federal executive in Mexico. It is located on Mexico City's main square, the Plaza de la Constitución. This site has been a palace for the ruling class of Mexico since the Aztec empire, and much of the current palace's building materials are from the original one that belonged to Moctezuma II.

Museo Nacional de Historia Museum in Mexico City

The Museo Nacional de Historia is a national museum of Mexico, located inside Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City. The Castle itself is found within the first section of the well known Chapultepec Park. The museum received 2,135,465 visitors in 2017.

Carl Gangolf Kayser Austrian architect

Carl Gangolf Kayser was an Austrian architect at the service of Emperor Maximilian I of Mexico, during the Second Mexican Empire. In the later part of his life he returned to Austria and worked on restoring medieval castles.

Hungary–Mexico relations Diplomatic relations between Hungary and the United Mexican States

Hungary–Mexico relations refer to foreign relations between Hungary and Mexico. Relations date back to the short reign of the Emperor Maximilian I of Mexico from 1864 to 1867. Diplomatic relations with Austria–Hungary were established in 1901, but were suspended between 1941 and 1974. They were re-established on 14 May 1974. Both nations are members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Heroic Military Academy (Mexico)

The Heroic Military College is the major military educational institution in Mexico. It was founded in 1823 and located in the former Palace of the Inquisition in Mexico City. Initially designated as the Cadet Academy it was renamed in 1823 as the Colegio Militar. The College was relocated in Perote, Veracruz, before being returned to Mexico City where it was established in the Betlemitas monastery. From 1835 the Military College was located in the Recogidas Building. Cadets training for the Mexican Navy originally formed part of the student body but in 1897 the Military Naval School was established as a separate institution in Veracruz.

Palacio de Minería palace in Mexico

The Palace of Mining, also Palace of Mines, in Mexico City is one of the masterpieces of Neoclassical architecture in the Americas. It was designed and built between 1797 and 1813 by Valencian Spanish sculptor and architect Manuel Tolsá. It was built to house the Royal School of Mines and Mining of the Royal Court at the request of its director, Fausto Elhuyar, a scientifically-trained mineralogist. Later it housed other institutions such as the National University, the School of Engineering, College of Mines and the Physics Institute of the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

References

  1. Elton, James Frederick (26 July 1867). "With the French in Mexico". Hdl.handle.net. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
  2. O’Connor, William (28 May 2018). "Chapultepec, the Mexican Castle That Drove a Belgian Princess to Madness and an Austrian Archduke to the Firing Squad". Thedailybeast.com. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
  3. "Historia de Chapultepec". Museo Nacional de Historia. Archived from the original on 2009-11-14. Retrieved 2009-11-22.
  4. ""The only royal castle in America"". Tripadvisor.com. March 28, 2007. Retrieved December 3, 2017.
  5. "Mural of Cadet Jumping - Mexico501". Mexico501.com.
  6. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-10-08. Retrieved 2014-10-06.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  7. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-22. Retrieved 2009-11-22.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  8. Hendel, archINFORM – Sascha. "Julius Hofmann". Eng.archinform.net.
  9. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-06-18. Retrieved 2009-11-22.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  10. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-06-05. Retrieved 2009-11-22.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)

Coordinates: 19°25′14″N99°10′54″W / 19.42056°N 99.18167°W / 19.42056; -99.18167