About Museo Casa de Leon Trotsky
A relatively well-kept secret, the Museo Casa de Leon Trotsky lies deep in leafy Coyoacán, and remains relatively quiet compared to its nearby neighbour, La Casa Azul.
History of Museo Casa de Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky was a leading Russian revolutionary, who played a vital role in the 1917 revolutions and aftermath. He clashed with Joseph Stalin, and following the death of Lenin, Trotsky became more marginalised, and a more vocal critique of his rival’s methods and power. He was expelled from Russia in 1929, and later granted asylum in Mexico in 1936. After spending several years living with Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, Trotsky and his wife Natalia Sedova, lived in this house for less than a year. In 1940, Trotsky was assassinated by NKVD agent Ramón Mercader, who smashed his skull with an ice axe. Mercarder was caught and sentenced to 20 years in prison by the Mexican government, which he served.
The house remains almost exactly as it was when Trotsky lived there: the walls still bears bullet holes from previous failed attempts on Trotsky’s life, and the thick walls, guard towers and lack of windows illustrate the ongoing concerns about his safety. The room in which he was assassinated remains as it did on that day.
Museo Casa de Leon Trotsky today
Various personal effects are still on display, including photographs, letters and books. The interior garden contains plants Trotsky collected during his time there, and today contains a stone stele with the ashes of Trotsky and Sedova inside.
In 1992, the house became a museum in August 1990, on the 50th anniversary of the assassination: simultaneously, the Instituto del Derecho de Asilo Museo Casa de León Trotsky (Institute of the Right of Asylum of the House of Leon Trotsky) as created to help other political dissident seeking asylum in Mexico.
Closed on Mondays. English speaking guides are available on request.
Getting to Museo Casa de Leon Trotsky
The museum is located in Coyoacán, a pleasant southern suburb of Mexico City. The nearest metro stops are Coyoacán (Olive / Linea 3) and Eje Central (Gold / Linea 12), and it’s about a 15 minute walk from either to the house. La Casa Azul is very close by, so it makes sense to combine a trip to both – Casa de Leon Trotsky is often very quiet, so if the lines look horrendous at La Casa Azul, it’s worth visiting here first.