Latin American castles: no reason to feel envy

Thousands of people looking for European countries to get a sneak of the history through the mythical castles when they are right in front of their eyes.

Thousands of people looking for European countries to get a sneak of the history through the mythical castles when they are right in front of their eyes.

Latin America is a continent full of culture, history, architecture and many others marvelous aspects that we, Latin America people, do often look for in places far away, ignoring what we have in front of us.

This is something that Lucas McNally from the Trinity College in Dublin would describe as the inferiority complex that Latin America suffers, the same complex that has it in a situation of insecurity when it comes to society, economy or any other development aspect.

Once that said, this is the perfect opportunity to take a look of one of these aspects previously mentioned.
Constantly, people in Latin America spend a lot of money to go abroad and get to know what might seem to our eyes more respectable, epic or important.

Here we have these amazing places that are going to prove otherwise.

Let’s start!

San Felipe del Morro Castle: Over two million visitors a year explore theme windswept ramparts and pageways in this fortress/castle, where the history of 400 years of Spain in Puerto Rico comes alive. Begun in 1539 by Spanish settlers to defend the port of San Juan, El Morro’s architecture follows well established Spanish military fortification design principles. Similar Spanish fortifications from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries can be seen on islands throughout the Caribbean and in Florida in the U.S. Named in honor of King Philip II of Spain, the Castillo was declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations in 1983 and is part of San Juan National Historic Site.

San Felipe Castle: Castillo de San Felipe, Cartagena, Colombia, South America, was founded in 1533. This forted castle is a walled city and a World Heritage site. It took slave labor over a century to build this fortress that dominates the landscape and that protected residents from pirates. The fortress is thought to be Spain’s most successful military engineering project in the Americas. Built from red brick and concrete, this citadel is designed so even if one part of the fortress fell to invaders (which never happened), the defenders could fire from another part. Its size is startling, and visitors begin to realize this building’s magnitude when they begin to explore the underground tunnel network.

Chapultepec Castle: Located on top of Chapultepec Hill. The name Chapultepec stems from the Nahuatl word chapoltep?c which means "at the grasshopper's hill". It is located in the middle of Chapultepec Park in Mexico City at a height of 2,325 meters (7,628 ft) above sea level. The site of the hill was a sacred place for Aztecs, and the buildings atop it have served several purposes during its history, including that of Military Academy, Imperial residence, Presidential home,observatory, and presently, the National Museum of History.[1] It is the only royal castle in North America that was actually used as the residence of a sovereign: the Mexican Emperor Maximilian I, and his consort Empress Carlota, lived there during the Second Mexican Empire.

Barón de Itaipava Castle: Castelo do Barão de Itaipava in portuguese, is a castle located in Petrópolis, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It was built in the first half of the 20th century, in 1914 specifically. Rodolfo Smith de Vasconcelos, Brazilian aristocrat in Itaipava earth. Is the copy of an European castle but made by Latin American architects Lúcio Costa and Fernando Valentín.

The Palace of Cortés: Located in Cuernavaca, Mexico, is, at almost 500 years old, the oldest conserved colonial era civil structure in the continental Americas. The building began as a fortified residence for Hernán Cortés and his second wife Juana Zúñiga. It was built in 1526, over a Tlahuica/Aztec tribute collection center, which was destroyed by the Spanish during the Conquest. Cortés replaced it with a personal residence to assert authority over the newly conquered peoples. As Cortés’ residence, it reached its height in the 1530s, but the family eventually abandoned it. In the 18th century, colonial authorities had the structure renovated and used it as a barracks and jail. During theMexican War of Independence, it held prisoners such as José María Morelos y Pavón. After the war, it became the seat of government for the state of Morelos until the late 20th century, when the state government moved out and the structure was renovated and converted into the current Museo Regional Cuauhnahuac, or regional museum, with exhibits on the history of Morelos.

Surely that are many others castles in Latin America for us to enjoy what is so near. But this was a good start.

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