Hernán Cortes, the conqueror of Mexico, built this government palace on the site of Moctezuma's residence. The ... More
Hernán Cortes, the conqueror of Mexico, built this government palace on the site of Moctezuma's residence. The National Palace (Palacio Nacional) that we see today dates back to 1693, although a floor was added in the 1920s. Inside there is a wonderful collection of murals by Diego Rivera. The most famous one is the 'Epic of the Mexican People' where two thousand years of history are condensed into the space of an enormous wall. The palace also houses a small museum dedicated to Benito Juárez and the Mexican Congress.
May be a good visit, if you don't have bad luck and don't meet the collosal meetings that surrounds it. The Historic Center of the city is a place of architectonic fusions and old stories slumber in their walls.
See the history of Mexico as illustrated by Diego Rivera's amazing murals. If you are not familiar with Mexican history, be sure to get a guided tour to understand adequately the significance of the various activities and events depicted.
It was great art right in your face. You can touch it and see a documented portrait of Mexico and the important people that helped shaped Mexico's history. You don't have to be an art buff to appreciate the murals. The murals are detailed and if you have a tourguide, like I did, they will certainly answer all your questions! You could definately go back everyday and find something new to look at and talk about. Right outside the Palacio Nacional is the Xocalo and lots of vendors! Check it out =). Then go to Coyoacan to see the artwork and house Mexican artist (and wife of Rivera), Frida Kahlo, grew up in.
If you're a fan of Diego Rivera, you could spend hours just looking at the murals on the courtyard walls! These aren't the types of works that travel well. :) The lighting is not fabulous, but the context of the works is perfect. Tour guides of various tongues are abundant. You can pay them for a historical / artistical explanation of the murals ... or you can just listen in on a nearby tour group! There's a museum dedicated to Benito Juarez, which is worth a quick peek. Some of the items on display in the room(s) dedicated to the Mexican Congress are interesting, especially some written documents where landownders showcased their literacy with overly ornate signatures a la John Hancock.
This isn't Versailles, but it was the Viceroy's palace during the colonial period, and now is a government building. The best thing is the murals, painted by one of Mexico's greatest and most famous artists, depicting the sweep of Mexican history. It's free to get in, but you must have an ID on you (no age limit, the soldiers at the gate just want to see an ID). These murals are some of Rivera's most famous. The palace has a courtyard at the center, and the rooms on every floor open out onto the courtyard, so there is an open hallway on the second floor, which you circulate around to take in all the murals. Brilliant work.
At 6:00pm every day, the huge flag in the center of the adjoining Z�calo (main plaza) is lowered, with a military ceremony. The platoon which guards the square and performs the ceremony starts from the Palacio and returns there at the end. The Z�calo is the beating heart of Mexico City and is not to be missed, the Palacio is part of that.
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