Palace of Cortés, Cuernavaca, Morelos, 16th Century
After the Conquest, Carlos V awarded a large tract of land that included the city of Cuauhnahuac [Cuernavaca] to Hernán Cortés. Close to Mexico City, but 3,000 feet lower in elevation, Cuernavaca made an ideal site for the winter palace of the Conquistador. Reportedly, construction began in 1523, and the palace was complete by 1528. It remained in hands of the family for the first century; later the building became a prison, then the state legislature, and finally a museum. In 1929, Diego Rivera painted a series of murals depicting the history of Cuernavaca in the palace.
Due to extensive remodeling and building over the centuries, few architectural details of the present palace date back to the 16th century. The shell of the building and the loggias in front and in back appear to be original.