Walking on Hernán Cortés's footsteps: the Hospital de Jesús and the Palacio de Cortés
The man who defeated the Aztec Empire lies in Mexico, beside the Hospital he ordered to be built.
Hernán Cortés's wake.
The history of Mexico cannot be separated from that of Hernán Cortés, conqueror of the country who defeated the Aztec Empire. General Captain and governor of Nueva España, he ended up being stripped of his titles and died in Spain in 1547. But it was his wish to return to Mexico, and his remains were brought back and buried in the Templo de la Concepción de Jesús Nazareno (Church of the Conception of Jesus Nazarene). Beside the church is the hospital of the same name, founded by Cortés in 1524 for the soldiers wounded in the endless battles with the Aztecs. There the visitor can see a bust of the conqueror by sculptor Manuel Tolsá, one of the few statues of Cortés that still remain. The hospital took nearly a century to be built, but nowadays it is still in use, which makes it the oldest working hospital in America. If you want to keep following in the footsteps of the conqueror from Extremadura, you will have to go to Cuernavaca, about 80 km from the capital, to see the Palacio de Cortés, an impressive, well kept castle that he ordered to be built in 1526 and in which he lived. Nowadays it houses the city's Museo de Antropología (Anthropology Museum).