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Visit Sir Edward James’ Castle in Xilitla

By José Ramírez |

Prince Sir Eduard James built a castle in Xilitla whose endless stairways guarantee its perpetual existence in time and space.


Xilitla, a town located in southeast San Luis Potosi that is part of the Huasteca Potosina region in Mexico, has gained international fame thanks to its extraordinary natural landscapes.

Almost three years ago, Xilitla was declared a Pueblo Mágico, but even before that, it was already a favorite destination among travelers who enjoy ecotourism and activities like rafting, 10m-high cascade diving, hiking, mountain biking and rappelling, among others.


But your trip to this natural paradise will be even more special if you visit Prince Edward James’ Castle, also known as the Surrealist Castle of Xilitla. You’ll have a great experience when you discover this building nestled in the jungle whose design combines elements of gothic, Egyptian and Mesopotamian architecture.


Prince Edward was born in Scotland and he inherited all his father’s fortune. William James, an American a railway magnate, was said to be his father, although some people think that he was actually England’s King Edward VII’s son. Apart from having royal blood, Edward James was a poet and a writer who was influenced by the Surrealist movement, and that’s why later he also became a patron for other important surrealist artists like Salvador Dali and Picasso.

The prince was a tourist by nature. He enjoyed traveling around the world so much, that he made several trips to Mexico. Once he heard people say that in Xilitla, orchids grew everywhere, so he decided to visit the town and plant some flowers himself to create a beautiful garden. Unfortunately, a strong frost caused great devastation in Xilitla so he had to change his project and ended up building a zoo.


At this 40-acre site you’ll find several areas that serve as home to animals, concrete statues, stairways that don’t lead anywhere and labyrinths. But what’s more interesting is that practically the whole building was left unfinished. That’s because Edward James thought that a finished work perished because it was doomed to losing continuity in space and time.

There are uncountable legends related with this castle. One of them says that when the prince traveled to Xilitla, he thought that the town was so beautiful and exquisite that it was the perfect place for God to come down and see Earth. For that reason, he decided to build several stairways with the sole intention of helping God find a direct route from the heavens to Xilitla.

The interior of the castle is also marvelous. There are cascades and waterholes where you can swim, so don’t forget to take your swimsuit with you. And don’t worry about being there until nightfall. Prince Eduard had everything planned so he paid a mind-blowing sum to add illumination to the waterholes.