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Banamex Cultural Palace Museum

By Angela Becerril |

The palace of an emperor turned hotel and then museum is, without doubt, a touristic landmark worth visiting in Mexico City.


If you travel to Mexico City, you must visit Francisco I. Madero Street, one of the busiest pedestrian streets in Latin America. It harbors a wide variety of businesses that fascinate lovers of shopping, gastronomy and culture. Located at 17 Madero Street, near the Torre Latinoamericana, is the Former Palace of Iturbide, nowadays known as the Banamex Cultural Palace Museum, a venue that hosts free temporary modern and contemporary art and architecture exhibitions.

Even though the building was restored not long ago, it possesses a long history. That’s why DINKtravelers wants to share with you some of the most interesting facts about its past so that you enjoy your visit to the fullest.


  • The Palace was built in 1779 using materials such as tezontle –a porous reddish volcanic rock– and quarry stone, both of which were part of the materials used to build the famous pyramids in Mexico.
  • If you’ve traveled to Sicily, Italy, you might have a déjà vu when you visit this Mexican landmark, because its inner courtyard is an exact replica of the one you find at the Royal Palace of Palermo (Palace of the Normans).
  • Its first inhabitants were the Countess of San Mateo Valparaíso and the Marquis of Jarral de Berrio. If you wish to see how this noble couple lived, visit the permanent exhibit they host at the palace, which includes eighteenth century furniture as well as pictures of this family.
  • The palace was also home to Agustín de Iturbide, one of the most important soldiers during the movement of Independence who was also one of the two sole emperors Mexico has had throughout its history.
  • An interesting fact for travelers is that during the nineteenth century the building was transformed into a hotel and it housed the city’s first elevator, so you can imagine that it was a very luxurious venue that was equipped with the latest in technology, just like the resorts in which you like to stay at when you travel.
  • In 1980 it was included in the Monuments Zone of Mexico City’s Historic Center for being a worthy representative of Mexican baroque architecture, thus becoming a touristic point of interest that you should include in your tour around the heart of the city.


If you want to visit this magical place wear comfortable shoes and prepare your camera because every angle of the premises is an invitation for a photograph. The palace opens Monday to Sunday from 10:00 to 19:00. We recommend visiting the site’s traditional exhibits which are usually dedicated to Mexico’s popular arts. You’ll be amazed by how colorful the craftworks are! Besides, afterwards you’ll get the chance to buy exact replicas of your favorite pieces at the souvenirs store located on the ground floor.