Sometimes you don’t feel like paying for an audio guide, or have the time to go on a Wikipedia deep-dive. So, once a month we at Beast Travel are giving readers a cheat sheet to some of the world’s most iconic destinations that will make your experience just a little richer. Last month was the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C, and this month (given its one of the best times of the year to visit Mexico City) we’re giving Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City the treatment.
The hill was a sacred religious site for the Mexica (Aztec) and had a temple and palace
Chapultepec (which means “grasshopper hill”) was considered sacred, and so a temple in which human sacrifice was practiced was erected on top of it. The greatest of Aztec rulers, Moctezuma-Ilhuicamina, ordered that reliefs in his image as well as his ancestors be carved into the eastern side of the hill—remains of which can still be seen today. A palace was reportedly built on it by the philosopher king Netzahualcoyotl and it was he who planted the ahuehuete (cypress) trees that still stand today. The hill was also used as a burial site for Aztec kings. Moctezuma II (the one who lost to Spain) would hold massive banquets amongst the cypress groves.
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