The National Museum of Anthropology
Mexico City, a teeming metropolis of intensity and innovation, has at its heart one of the most important museums in Mexico, Museo Nacional de Antropologia (The National Museum of Anthropology). The Museum contains one of the world’s largest collections of archaeological and anthropological artifacts from prehispanic Mayan civilizations to the Spanish conquest.
Located within Chapultepec Park, the Museum is one of the most comprehensive and impressive facilities in the world. The modern architecture, designed by Pedro Ramirez Vazquez, is characterized by its iconic umbrella roof supported by a single column, which represents a mythological tree and depicts eagles and jaguars—all important symbols to the prehispanic natives.
Each of the salons displays artifacts from a particular geographic region or culture. The Mesoamerican cultures displayed include: Teotihuacan, Toltec, Aztec, Mixtec, Zapotec, Olmec, and Maya. Be sure to see the Aztec Calendar, Piedra del Sol (Stone of the Sun), which shares similar aspects to the Mayan Calendar. The 12-foot, 25-ton, carved basalt slab, dating to the late 1400s, was discovered buried beneath the Zocalo. Other highlights include the reconstruction of an eighth century Mayan tomb and perfectly preserved skeleton, a replica model of the Templo Mayor, a copy of Aztec ruler Moctezuma’s feathered headdress and massive Olmec heads.
El Castillo de Chapultepec
This castle is located at the highest point of Chapultepec hill, offering sublime views of the surroundings. Construction began on this building during the colonial period, and it has had several uses, including a military academy which was the site of the Battle of Chapultepec in which several young cadets lost their lives.
Emperor Maximilian of Hapsburg and his wife the Empress Carlota made this their residence and Maximilian ordered the construction of a wide boulevard leading from their residence to the center of the city, now known as El Paseo de La Reforma.
The castle was also used as the presidential residence from 1883 until 1941 when President Lazaro Cardenas chose to move the official residence to Los Pinos, also in the Bosque de Chapultepec. He had this castle made into the National Museum of History, which was inaugurated on September 27, 1944.
The ultimate landmark of colonial architecture in the American continent, Mexico City’s Metropolitan Cathedral stands majestically in the capital’s Square as the largest Cathedral in Latin America and one of the most emblematic Christian temples in the world.
The history of the Cathedral is also the history of Mexico in the time of the Viceroyalty, and a stone narrative of its diverse architectonical styles. Built across three centuries, we can recognize Renaissance, Baroque and Neoclassical elements which harmoniously come together to form a piece of great cultural and spatial richness, unique in its genre.
The first stone of the Cathedral was placed by Hernán Cortes in 1524 in an act of great symbolic significance, as it was placed at the crossing of the avenues which, from the four cardinal points, lead to the spiritual centre of the Aztec capital. It was built using the stones that had once been a part of the Templo Mayor of the Great Tenochtitlán.
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Deadlines: Final registration deadline: October 1, 2015 Full Payment due by: October 20, 2015