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XALAPA

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-College of Teachers (Escuela Normal): It was the first in Mexico and one of the most renowned in the State of Veracruz due to its academic quality. General Juan de la Luz Enriquez founded it in 1886 over the foundations of the old Jesuit College of San Ignacio. During the construction process part of a neighbouring church had to be demolished to conclude and then enlarge the educational facility. With the inauguration of the historic Escuela Normal and the posterior surge of other academic centres, Xalapa would begin to consolidate its fame as the Athens of Veracruz.
Take a look at the Toscana columns and the bust of professor Enrique Rebramen, its first director, and according to many, one of greatest educators in Mexico's history, when visiting the College's seat.
It is located on Xalapa Avenue, unnumbered.

-Museum of Anthropology: It was created in 1957 to keep and show to the world 30 centuries of history through 29000 archaeological objects that synthesise the evolution of the Olmecas, Totonacas and Huaxtecas, the main pre-Hispanic Cultures in the State of Veracruz. Some prodigious stone-carved heads seem to guard the entrance to the 18 galleries, 6 rooms and 4 patios of the Museum.
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    The admirable sculptures, known as Baby Faces, are the fruit of the mastery of the Olmecas, who dominated the south of Veracruz between the years 1200 and 1500 BC. The pre-Hispanic artists made their works without using metal tools; besides, their raw material was brought from the remote Sierra of Tuxtla.
    A burst of dexterity, technique and creativity that is seen again on the Olmeca masks made of semiprecious stones, and on its basaltic thrones, beauties that move viewers due to their indescribable prettiness.
    There are scale-models of the Totonaca cities on exhibition in another room, and countless of valuable objects that are useful to understand their way of life. They also have fine sculptures on exhibition, with the Baby Faces and the representations of the goddess Cihuateotl (the Totonacas deified the women who died while giving birth, and they believed that after their death they became the sun's companions).
    The tour on history leads travellers to the time of the Huaxtecas (1200 to 1521 AD), who occupied the northern part of the State, being considered as part of the Maya Culture by some scholars. Sculptures on sandstones, delicate works on seashells and images of their main gods, the sun and Tlasolteotl, the goddess of love, can be appreciated at the Museum.
    An ethnographic room that unveils the historic evolution of the human groups that currently inhabit the State, another one that shows the funerary ritual of the pre-Hispanic peoples and an area specialised on the Mesoamerican "holy books", with reproductions of the XVI century, complete the visit to this stronghold of history.
    The entire collection of the Museum had its origin in the decade of the 1940s, thanks to the thrust of José García Pavón. Nowadays, Veracruzana University guards the historic goods. It is located on Xalapa Avenue, unnumbered.

    -Interactive Museum of Xalapa: Touch, play and learn, these are the three golden rules, the basic commandments that every visitor must follow in this modern, amusing and unforgettable cultural compound, one of the most important in the country and the only one of its kind in the State of Veracruz.
    The Museum has 7 theme rooms (Veracruz, Ecology, Human Being, Science, Art, Communications and Children), with games, videos, models and simulators that reproduce the ocean currents, the generation of electricity, the movement of the earth's forces, or the movement of the planets in the solar system.
    It was inaugurated on November the 12th of 1992, with the objective of explaining the reasons for things through games and interactive mechanisms. Its state of the art installations include a movie theatre, conference rooms, souvenir shops, panoramic terraces and a planetarium.
    It is located on Rafael Murillo Avenue, unnumbered.
    • Mega-Screen: It is a modern movie theatre with a 330 people capacity and a spectacular IMAX reproduction system that projects 3D images on a screen 17 metres high and 24 metres long, with unique bright and contrast, besides a wrapping sound definition.
    • Planetarium: A journey across the universe in just 40 minutes to know the position the stars had million of years ago, and the location they will have in the future. The "cosmic ride" starts with a briefing on which one learns to identify the stars and other outer space mysteries.
      The Planetarium has a projection room with a 32 people capacity, and equipped with more than 2000 photographs, about 10 videos, and access to the Internet in order to download satellite images on real time.
      It was inaugurated in 1999. There are only two other similar planetariums in Mexico, the one in Rehilete (Hidalgo) and the one of the Navy School (Veracruz).
    -Chapel of the Souls: This temple surrounded by exquisite gardens is alongside the road connecting Xalapa with Veracruz. It was built in the XVIII century, though due to its neoclassical features, it resembles the typical edifications of the XVI century.
    There is a small altarpiece inside the Chapel, decorated with estípites, niches, medallions and sculptures; as well as two large canvases with allegories to the Our Father painted in 1777 by the artist from Puebla, Miguel Jerónimo Zendejas.
    Another aspect of interest is a large oil painting of the Virgin of Guadalupe that has been recently restored. The painting is beside a small baptismal font, in a narrow room transformed into an open chapel.

    -Promenade of the Lakes: It is a tranquil path to stroll unhurried under the shadow of leafy trees, until reaching three water mirrors known as El Dique due to an extinct yarn and fabric factory created in 1836 that operated in the zone.
    It was the owner of this factory who commissioned the construction of a dike (dique) to contain the waters of the spring of Tlamecapan and the Santiago River, in order to guarantee the supply of water throughout the year. That is how the first of the three lakes conforming the Promenade surged.
    Years later the factory's installations had to be demolished, which brought as a consequence the desiccation of the dike. During the administration of solicitor Rafael Murillo (1968-1974), the zone was reconditioned and two more lakes were created. The current Promenade of the Lakes was inaugurated in 1973, and it also has a theatre house, a concert-room and a temporary exhibition room.
    It is located in the surroundings of the campus of Veracruzana University, bordered by Paseo Presidentes Street and 13 de Septiembre, Venustiano Carranza and J.J. Herrera Avenues.

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