The Saga of Where to Bury Hernán Cortés

The Saga of Where to Bury Hernán Cortés

We do not know when or where la Malinche died, but Hernán Cortés died in Spain in 1547. Since then his body has been moved eight times, but it was always his wish that he be buried in "New Spain" in a monastery at Coyoacán in what is now the affluent southern suburbs of México City. This was not to be - the monastery was never built.

After being buried first in Sevilla, he was reburied in Texcoco, NE Mexico City, in 1566. Then he was moved across town before finally ending up in 1794 in the Church and Hospital of Jesús Nazareno, just south of the Zócalo, where he has been ever since. For much of that time the body was hidden. Cortés was - and is - just too controversial!

This hospital (one of the oldest in the Americas) was founded by Cortés. Some believe it was built on the spot where Cortés and Montezuma first met, although this seems doubtful. He is buried in the adjacent church - shown below.


As for Coyoacán, it is now a popular place to visit and stroll around. There is a Casa de Cortés but Cortés never lived there. A better spot to visit is the Casa de la Malinche by the Plaza La Conchita, although you cannot go inside.

Frida Kahlo lived not far from here - her house is now the Museo Frida Kahlo (also known as La Casa Azul), and it is open to the public.