National Palace Tavel Guide

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  • National Palace Tavel Guide

The National Palace is the best place to appreciate the murals, especially Diego Rivera murals. It is the seat of the federal executive in Mexico, with its red tezontle facade, fills the entire east side of the Zócalo, measuring over 200 meters long. This site has been a palace for the ruling class of Mexico since the Aztec empire, and much of the current palace's building materials are from the original one that belonged to Moctezuma II.

The central door leads to the main patio which is surrounded by Baroque arches. Only the balustrade of this area has been remodeled, conserving the murals by Diego Rivera that adorn the main stairwell and the walls of the second floor. He also painted 11 panels on the middle floor, but this series was not finished. In the middle and largest panel, the Conquest is depicted with its ugliness, such as rape and torture, as well as priests defending the rights of the indigenous people. This part of the mural also includes Frida Kahlo, Diego's wife. This mural reflects Diego's own personal views about Mexico's history and the indigenous people of the country in particular.

The Palace has 14 courtyards but only a few of these, such as the Grand Courtyard beyond the central portal, are open to the public. The National Palace also houses the main State Archives, with many interesting historical documents, and the Biblioteca Miguel Lerdo de Tejada, one of the largest and most important libraries in the country. On north annex of the building is the Treasury Room and the Benito Juárez Museum.