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GUADALAJARA

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Music, chants and toasts in a city marked by tradition and customs. Ancient and modern, evocative and festive, Guadalajara, the land where Tequila is produced, the city of the mariachis and the charros, the city that keeps some of the traditions most grass-rooted in the Mexican spirit, is all of this.

In coming and going through the streets of its City Centre, in walking across its ample Tapatía Plaza, or in listening to the tunes in the Plaza of the Mariachis, one discovers the essence of that "beautiful and dear Mexico" that gets into the soul of the traveller.

Do not fail to visit the following places when visiting Guadalajara:

-Metropolitan Cathedral: its huge belfries and its confusing architectonic features, mixture of renaissance, gothic and Moorish styles, has become an authentic emblem of the second largest city in Mexico. Its construction began in 1561 by mandate of Philip the II, the King of Spain, being consecrated only in 1616.
With the passing of time the original design of architects Martin Casillas and Manuel Gomez suffered a couple of modifications, especially regarding its belfries, which were destroyed during an earthquake and risen again in the XIX century.
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    The Cathedral shows three niches in its main façade with images of The Asuncion, Saint Peter and Saint Paul, topping the group a circular pediment with the apostles assisting to Maria's Ascension shaped on bas-relief in the middle. There are altarpieces of the neoclassical period and splendid sculptures on the inside. Another one of its adornments is a huge organ made in France, which is the second largest in Mexico.
    Story goes that this House of God housed the men that fought for the independence of the country in its naves.
    It is located on 16 de Septiembre Avenue, between Hidalgo and Morelos Streets, in Guadalajara's Historic Centre. Its doors remain open from 8:00 hours till 20 hours.

    -Round Plaza of the Illustrious Men: it is a space to pay tribute to the illustrious characters who wrote the glorious pages of the history of Jalisco with their deeds. Designed by architect Vicente Mendiola, the colossal work is composed of 17 fluted columns with no base or capital, the same that hold a ring of quarry stone.
    There are 98 niches in the round plaza to contain the body remains of the illustrious men, although most of them are empty. Besides, there are 11 copper statues of notorious characters from Jalisco, made by sculptor Manuel Miramontes, and a perennial fire in the central part. It was built in 1951.
    The round plaza is located between Alcalde and Hidalgo Avenues and Independencia and Liceo Streets.

    Regional Museum of Guadalajara: it gives you a true glimpse of the history of this part of Mexico in each one of its 14 rooms, through millenarian fossils, valuable archaeological objects of pre Columbian manufacture, moving colonial paintings and a large number of documents and objects of undeniable cultural interest.
    Artworks of renowned modern Mexican artists, such as famous Diego Rivera, stand out amongst its treasures. Its rooms host temporary exhibitions, conferences and concerts.
    Beyond the value of the objects they exhibit, the museum installations are one of the architectonic pearls of Guadalajara's Historic Centre, with its baroque façade, its central cloister of Toscana features and its Corinthian columns on the frontispiece standing out. Its construction began in 1701, and the works were concluded in 1758. It is located between Liceo, Hidalgo and Independencia Streets.

    -Plaza de Armas: it is a place full of memories and remembrances. It was the heart and centre of the city until the early XX century. It offers passers-by a perfect vision of the Palace of Government and other architectonic beauties of the Historic Centre. There are Greco Latin sculptures on each one of its corners representing allegorically the four seasons, and a small French pavilion in which the municipal band and that of the State of Jalisco, perform for cheerful soirées on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.
    It is located between 16 de Septiembre, Morelos, Pedro Moreno and Corona Avenues.

    -Palace of Government: its old walls and rooms, designed by architects Manuel Jose Conique and Nicolas Enrique del Castillo, have been silent witnesses of extremely important events, such as the promulgation of the decree of father Miguel Hidalgo abolishing slavery, and the failed assassination attempt against the president of the republic, Benito Juarez, which took place on March the 13th of 1858. Its construction of baroque style with a Doric doorway, large windows and sober balconies was financed with the taxes imposed on tequila distillers. The building showed the condition of National Palace on February the 14th of 1858, when Benito Juarez ruled the country.
    There is a fabulous mural elaborated by Mexican artist Jose Clemente Orozco on the inside. It is located on 43 Corona Street, in the Historic Centre.
    • Mural of the Palace of Government: it is on the walls and the vault of the main stairs of the precinct. Clemente Orozco pays homage to father Miguel Hidalgo, forefather of the Mexican independence in its artwork. He is depicted as a struggling man in the midst of the battlefield full of flames, shrapnel and shooting firearms.
    -Municipal Palace: although it was built in the XX century, between 1949 and 1952, it respects the architectonic style of the big old houses and temples in old Guadalajara. It was designed by Vicente Mendiola, who provided it with portals, Toscana columns, corridors, arches and a central patio. The building has two levels and the neoclassical style is predominant amongst their features.
    Like is the case of the Palace of Government, it houses a mural depicting Guadalajara's history. It is the artwork of local artist Gabriel Flores.
    It is located on 400 Hidalgo Avenue, Centre Zone.

    -Liberation Plaza: it is also known as the "plaza of the two wineglasses" due to the shape of its fountains. It was built in 1952 to commemorate the decree granting the abolishment of slavery, promulgated by father Miguel Hidalgo in Guadalajara, an event represented by a bronze monument in which the father of Mexican independence carries the links of a broken chain on his hands.
    It was designed by architect Ignacio Diaz Morales. It is located behind the Cathedral and before the Degollado Theatre.

    -Degollado Theatre: it was inaugurated on September the 13th of 1866, being called Great Alarcon Theatre in its early years. Later the name would change to Degollado, in honour of Santos Degollado, governor of Jalisco and great promoter of this work, designed by Jose Jacobo Galvez.
    This theatre of neoclassical style is the seat of the Symphonic Orchestra of Guadalajara. But this is not all; its agitated cultural agenda includes jazz concerts, the performance of operas and diverse plays, and even a mariachi festival.
    The stage is full of movement on Sundays, with the presentation of the folk ballet of the Autonomous University of Guadalajara. The Degollado Theatre, which was refurbished in 1998, is located between Morelos, Hidalgo, Liceo and Degollado Streets.



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