The spaces of the Alcázar are set with furniture, domestic utensils, jewels, paintings and other objects belonging, on the ground floor, to the time when the Castle was inhabited by the emperors Maximiliano and Carlota (1864-1867); and on the top floor, at the time when President Porfirio Díaz and his wife Carmen Romero Rubio occupied the building as a summer house (1883-1910).
In addition to the acclimated rooms, in this area of the Castle there is a room dedicated to the Battle of Chapultepec (1847). On the exteriors stand the Caballero Alto and the gardens designed from the descriptions that were made of the garden during the time of Maximilian.
Currently it is still used as a museum. Its 19 rooms contain a vast range of pieces that exceed ninety thousand where the history of Mexico is exhibited and illustrated since the Spanish conquest, with various objects such as medieval armor, swords and cannons among many others. His collection of objects has been organized in 6 curatorships:
Painting, sculpture, drawing, engraving and printing.
Historical documents and flags.
Technology and weapons.
Clothing and accessories.
Furniture and household goods.
It also provides services such as library, video library, photo library and guided tours.
This space was used, in other times, for garage or carriage hall of the Castle. The room now also serves as an entrance to the Alcazar and is flanked by two murals by Antonio González Orozco: Triumphal entry of Benito Juárez to the National Palace accompanied by his cabinet (1967) and Juárez, symbol of the Republic against French Intervention (1972). Among the pieces also stands out a Calesa brand Bindeer R. Ducolisee used by Benito Juárez in his pilgrimage through several states of the country during the French intervention and the second Mexican empire from 1862 to 1867; Maximiliano and Carlota’s daily carriage was later used for the service of President Benito Juarez, and the Gala Chariot of Emperors Maximiliano and Carlota.
One hundred years elapsed between the War of Independence and the beginning of the Mexican Revolution. The nineteenth century was a hard period of formation for the country, in which its liberal and progressive ideals were strengthened.
Among the multitude of events that took place in that century, three decisive ones stand out: in 1846-1848, the loss of half of the territory as a result of the US invasion, which defined the current geographic profile of Mexico; later, with the victory of Benito Juárez over
Maximilian in 1867, the country entered fully into the republican and constitutional path. Finally, the Porfiriato, from 1876 to 1911, meant the country’s international recognition and the initial impulse of its economic modernization. As the setting for all these events, Chapultepec Castle always had a relevant role.
During the government of Maximiliano Habsburg, the women still wore wide skirts, whose flight responded to the sum of several garments used at the same time: shorts to the ankle, ranela petticoats, refajo to the knee and starched skirt.
Maximiliano in Miravalle: Fernando Maximiliano José was the second son of Prince Francisco Carlos, son of Francisco, emperor of Austria. As a man of the Habsburg house, Maximilian was educated under the family motto: “Austria est imperare orbi universe” -Austria will prevail over the whole universe-. In his youth, Maximiliano served as a Navy officer and then was appointed governor general of Lombardy and Venice.
In the port of Trieste, Maximiliano built the castle of his dreams he called Miramar. When he met Chapultepec, he decided to call Miravalle to his new palace, on whose terraces he could devote himself to reading and writing both decrees and other provisions such as his official and personal correspondence.
Leisure hours: Apart from state affairs, the inhabitants of the residence were looking for moments of recreation and fun. In the Alcazar, the rulers killed time with a game of bowling or billiards, or held a meeting of cards or chess with their guests. The tapestries that adorn the room represent characters dedicated to the game of spinning top, the bearing, badminton and bowling. They were made in France and given by Napoleon III to Maximilian on the occasion of his birthday, which was celebrated on July 6.
In this room, furnished and decorated with pieces of Chinese, Japanese and Dutch company origin, tobacco smoke and spirit of liquor created an atmosphere conducive to discuss the issues that occupied the minds of the guests at the residence presidential. After sharing an abundant table, while the women retired to discuss domestic matters and to comment on the news of society, the men used to meet to solve the problems of their businesses and the destinies of the country.
The ruler at the table: Sharing food means integrating the guest into the family environment and it is common for the relevant moments of individual life to be celebrated with a treat that is both intimate and festive. When presiding over the table, the ruler shows his generosity and reinforces his character as a family man.
The fireplace and sideboards of this dining room – cedar, mahogany, metal and marble – were made by the artist Pedro Téllez Toledo on the orders of President Díaz, who commissioned the decoration of the room to the sculptor
The furniture is crowned by the monogram of the Mexican Republic. Elements of the dining room service of Maximiliano, of Christofle silver, as well as pieces of glassware belonging to Porfirio Díaz are exhibited.
In addition to its illustrious occupants, the Alcazar housed dozens of servants whose work made possible the operation of the facilities and the attention of the needs of its inhabitants. Day after day, from the early hours of the morning, in the basements and on the ground floor of the building, camera assistants, cleaning and maintenance staff, housekeepers, cooks, washers and waiters met, whose names have no place in The history books. On the sides of this room, a staircase and a forklift made the food from the kitchen, located in the basement, to the dining room table that occupies this level.
National History Museum, Chapultepec Castle
The National Museum of History is the Chapultepec Castle that holds the memory of the history of Mexico, from the conquest of Tenochtitlan to the Mexican Revolution. Its rooms show a diversity of objects representative of four centuries of the history of Mexico. The museum is located in the Castillo de Chapultepec, whose construction began in 1785 during the government of the Viceroy of New Spain, Bernardo de Gálvez. Although it was created for rest home, over time it was adapted to different uses: it was a military school, imperial residence with Maximilian and Carlota (1864-1867), presidential residence and, since 1939, headquarters of the National Museum of History.
The museum has 12 permanent exhibition halls that present the historical trajectory of the country, from the Conquest to the Mexican Revolution; and 22 rooms in the area known as Alcázar, where the rooms of Maximiliano and Carlota and President Porfirio Díaz are recreated, as well as a room that recalls the assault on Chapultepec Castle.
Chapultepec Castle is located on top of Chapultepec Hill in the Chapultepec park. 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”. 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.
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.