Walls that Talk

Vivid whispers and images of history

By Google Arts & Culture

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National Palace

The National Palace

Located on Constitution Square (El Zócalo), has been standing since the 16th century.

This massive building, revetted with cantera and tezontle stones, tells Mexico's past and present history in every space.

Its several architectural styles -colonial, baroque, neocolonial, neoclassical and even art nouveau- make this building a true symbol of the country.

National Palace 2 (2021-06-01/2021-06-01) by R.M. Nuñez

The National Palace has been the official residence of the president as recently as 2018 and the center of power for more than five centuries.

The monumental flag is one of the three located in Mexico City. The other two can be found in San Jeronimo's roundabout and Military Camp Marte.

National Palace 3 (2013-07-25/2013-07-25) by Borna Mir

The Multiple Residents of the National Palace

Today the National Palace is the seat of the Executive Power, but its story dates back to the 14th century, when it was the residence of Emperor Moctezuma II.

After the fall of Tenochtitlan, a new residence was built for Hernan Cortés, the conquistador who overthrew the Aztec empire.

This fortress-palace would later become the Palace of the Viceroy until the 17th century, when Mexico became an independent country.

National Palace 4 (2019-08-04/2019-08-04) by Alejandro Barba

Illustrated Stories

Between 1929 and 1935, Diego Rivera was commissioned to paint a set of large-scale murals entitled The History of Mexico on the stairwell walls of the National Palace.

Rivera’s composition depicts scenes from the Spanish Conquest to the Revolution, including his vision of the future.

This masterpiece does not just embellish the building, but most importantly conveys the history of a nation and encourages reflection, and even action.

The National Palace has had a glorious and hectic story that can be told through Rivera's murals, the antiques and oil paintings of the galleries and the presidential rooms that have held countless relevant meetings.

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