The castle itself is located on the highest part of the Chapultepec hill, in the park of the same name. Its construction began in 1785, as a summer house for the Viceroy of Nueva España. Since then, it has been used for a number of purposes, from residence for the president to fortress and even Military Academy. Inside is quite magnificent, still boasting the decoration that Emperor Maximiliano ordered to be brought from abroad. At its foot there is an Altar a la Patria (Altar to the Fatherland), six columns surrounding a sculpture, in memory of the child heroes who died defending the castle from the Americans. At times, this palace was abandoned; to avoid this, in 1944 it was decided to use it permanently to house the collection of the Museo Nacional de Historia (National History Museum). In addition to the works of art, the castle is famous for its splendid, manicured gardens, with straight lines and geometric shapes that take the traveller back to the best European courts of the 18th century.
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