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09.04.2009

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Desierto de los Leones National Park
Attractions of Mexico City

 

Mystery and splendour among rocks and flowers, hidden within the cold woods of Mexicos Valley, Desierto de los Leones (Lions Desert) defines, with its lovely spaces, a place of unique beauty in Mexico City.

Desierto de los Leones, an ancient convent dating to the time of the viceroyalty, is surrounded by the homonymous National Park in Sierra de las Cruces, on Mexico Citys west side, within the area of Cuajimalpa.  

The construction of this site began in 1606 in the hands of the outstanding architect Fray Andrés de San Miguel, with the aim of establishing a retirement for the Carmelite order, amidst quiet and tranquil coniferous forests, where the friars of the order could enjoy a peaceful heaven and a pious life completely estranged from civilization.

This ancient retirement convent functioned until the end of the 18th Century, when, after several legal problems over the land and the climatic difficulties that the area presented, it was abandoned and left to the hands of time, sporadically becoming a mute witness to Mexicos history, as it did in the time of the Mexican Revolution, when its old walls served as refuge for Zapatista troupes. With the passing years, the exuberance of its forests and its rich past, allowed it to become a protected area for the enjoyment of its visitors.

Today, in this beautiful mountain place, the remains of the ancient buildings melt with the surrounding woods, enveloped by serene gardens, patios, fountains and spaces, that allow us to submerge in times past and to discover with new eyes the richness of the natural environment that surrounds Mexico City.

Desierto de los Leones houses a site museum and exhibition rooms, which host various cultural events like musical concerts and horticultural fairs. Its surrounding areas are the ideal site for several recreational activities like mountain biking, hiking and family picnics.

You can get to Desierto de los Leones from the México-Toluca highway. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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