Newest Review: ... affair with Kahlo at some point during his time in Mexico, which is mentioned at the Frida Kahlo Museum. This particular room is not imm... more
The "Little Fortress"
Trotsky House (Mexico City, Mexico)
Member Name: Starlight81
Trotsky House (Mexico City, Mexico)
Advantages: A definite eye-opener
Disadvantages: Bleak and depressing
I visited Trotsky's house having first been to Casa Azul, which was just around the corner and an infinitely brighter and more cheerful place.
This, then, made for an interesting contrast.
It's the house itself which is really worth seeing, and it gives you a shocking insight into the way Trotsky lived out his final years after being exiled from the Soviet Union. However, the first room you enter is full of photographs of Trotsky and his wife arriving and consequently living in Mexico- included here are pictures of the couple with Rivera and Kahlo, with whom they lived for the first few years of their exile, at the Casa Azul. Trotsky allegedly had an affair with Kahlo at some point during his time in Mexico, which is mentioned at the Frida Kahlo Museum.
This particular room is not immensely interesting, particularly as some of the information is provided solely in Spanish and those pieces which are written in English are awkwardly translated.
You then walk through into the garden, in which Trotsky's chicken coops and many of his cactus plants still remain. It is explained that his wife believed he threw himself into the collection and planting of cacti, as well as the care of the chickens, in order to give himself a purpose once he was cut off from his real passions.
The house itself, as I mentioned, lies in stark contrast to Casa Azul. The rooms include a dim and bare study where Trotsky's staff worked, as well as a kitchen with a few pieces of Mexican pottery, and two bedrooms containing wardrobes full of some rather drab looking pieces of clothing. The main bedroom's walls are pockmarked with bullet holes, where a first assassination attempt was made on the couple. As a direct result of this, all the windows were boarded up and the walls reinforced, creating an even dingier atmosphere. I could not imagine having to live out my life in such a place, and I admire the two of them for having made the best of it.
The room where Trotsky was killed with the ice pick is rather chilling, simply because it is all too easy to imagine the scene. Apparently Trotsky was working on a book exposing Stalin's regime for what it really was when he was murdered at his desk. There is, in fact, a rather nasty photograph of him dying in hospital in the first room. I would like to know who took such a photo, and can only hope it was not a family member!
There's also some interesting information about Stalin's rule in the servants quarters, including a poster showing what became of the revolutionaries after Stalin came to power- it is quite sinister to see either 'dead' or 'disappeared' below every name apart from that of Stalin and Trotsky.
The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday, 10am until 5pm. To be honest, I can't remember exactly how much it cost to get in, although it is apparently around $20 (£1) and there is a student discount.
Summary: Well worth a visit, but don't stay for too long!
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