AAA Editor Notes
Chapultepec Castle (Castillo de Chapultepec) is within Chapultepec Park (M: Chapultepec, line 1). It stands atop a 200-foot-high hill (Cerro de Chapulín, or Grasshopper Hill) overlooking the central part of the city. Aztec emperors once used this stony outcrop as a summer retreat. Construction of the castle began in 1783. Completed in 1840, it was fortified and became a military college. When it was attacked and taken in 1847 by U.S. forces during the Mexican-American War, the castle was defended solely by its young cadets. After passing through a succession of leaders it was finally bequeathed to the nation in 1939 by President Lázaro Cárdenas.
The climb to the castle along a paved walkway winding up Chapultepec Hill is fairly steep and takes about 20 minutes. En route there are frequent views of the downtown skyline. For a small fee, visitors can ride a tourist train that is boarded inside the park entrance and transports passengers up the hill.