Built with a moderate baroque style, this two storey abode has a façade with cast iron railings. In its interior, stands out the elegant central patio outlined by half point arches and the exquisite 'Reception Hall', a very aristocratic room, provided with chandeliers and old furnishing.
Another extremely interesting detail is the wall painting of its
main staircase. Elaborated in 1970, this valuable artwork that combines
both painting and sculpture, depicts the history of Zacatecas
its most important archaeological sites, its colonial past and its
present economical activities
Since 1831, this Palace is the seat of the Executive Power of the
State of Zacatecas
. It is located in 604 Hidalgo
Avenue facing the Major Square. It can be visited on any day of
the week, from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm.
-Palacio de Justicia o de la Mala Noche - Justice Palace
or Bad Night Palace,
was the former residence of Manuel
Reátegui, a rich miner of the zone who, due to fate and his own
dissipation, became utterly impoverished. In desperation, he decided
that his only way out was through suicide.
On the night this former tycoon was planning his end, someone knocked on his door to give him some great news: a fabulous vein of gold ore had been just discovered in his Mala Noche Mine. He was saved by the bell.
Since then, this big proportioned palace, with its delicate staircases and beautiful balconies began to be known as Mala Noche, as a reminder of the rich mine that prevented the suicide of Reátegui.
La Mala Noche,
which was built in the 18th century,
in the times of the independence struggles became the seat of the
State's Congress, but it was only since 1985 that it turned to be
the premises of the Palace of Justice. It is located at the Hidalgo
Avenue, number 699. It can be visited from Monday to Friday between
8:30 am and 8:00 pm.
-Catedral de Zacatecas - Cathedral,
monumentality forces one to think about divine inspiration, and
from a more terrestrial point of view, in the fabulous richness
of the wealthy miners who brought the funds for its construction.
The Cathedral has three façades, (central, northern and southern) which have a decoration around which scholars never agree. Some of them sustain that it is a superb example of the churrigueresque style, while others think that it actually belongs to the baroque. But in spite of any arguing of its true origins, all the scholars agree that it is a beautiful example of colonial architecture.
The central or main façade is divided in three levels and is flanked by two towers. One of them contains a bell that was cast with the funds obtained from the donation of jewellery and coins by the Zacatecan devotees. In its first level its impressive door of carved wood is one of its main elements.
In the second level of this façade we need to pay special attention to the window of the choir, framed by a fine embroidering of carved stones. On every one of its angles can be observed the figures of the four doctors of the Latin Church (Saint Gregory Magnum, Saint Geronimo, Saint Augustine of Hipona and Saint Ambrose of Milan) and at its sides a pair of apostles, among other details.
The southern façade is composed by two levels and is dedicated to the Virgen del Patrocinio, the patroness saint of the City, while the northern façade has as its principal topic the Crucified Christ, with the caring figures of Saint John and Saint Mary at his sides.
In the interior of the Cathedral we can find large Doric pillars, neoclassic stone altars and arches decorated with lauretanos marianos icons (the doors to heaven, the morning star and others), elements of the Passion (the coins of Judas, the spear of Longinos, the edict of Pilates and others) and images of saints and martyrs representing the history of Christendom.
The Cathedral started to be built in 1730, on a lot where two other
temples of simple structures had been previously erected. It finally
opened its doors on August the 5th of 1752, and is situated in the
Main Square of Zacatecas
-Ex Casa de la Moneda,
was built during the early
years of the 18th century, gold and silver pieces were coined in
its premises between 1810 and 1905. In the present days, this elegant
building with its façade of quarry stone is the seat to the offices
of the Secretary of Finances of the State. Indoors, we have to pay
attention to a mural painting by the Zacatecan artist Antonio Pinto
Rodríguez, depicting the history of currency in Mexico. Another
interesting detail is the coat of arms that adorns its front façade.
It is located in 807 Hierro Street, and can be visited from Monday to Friday from 7:00 am to 8:00 pm.
-Templo de Santo Domingo - Temple,
is an extraordinary
religious construction that stands imposing sumptuous at the front
of the Santo Domingo Square. Its origins go back to 1616, when the
Jesuit order erected the modest parish of the Inmaculada Concepción,
which would be later enlarged and remodelled between the years of
1746 and 1749. Hence it would not only have its name changed, but
also its decoration with the construction in its interior of eight
baroque styled shrines.
When the Jesuits became banned from America, the Temple's property befell in the hands of the Dominicans who, in the 19th century, replaced the original baroque styled main altar piece for one with a neoclassical influence, a fact that modified the prevailing structure of the Temple, but left unaffected its architectonical artistry and grandeur.
In the interior of Santo Domingo are kept some exquisite works of religious art, as an oil painting of the Virgin of Guadalupe and an image of a Christ with indigenous features, a thick beard and a wound on its left cheek, which symbolises the betrayal of Judas. This image, made with a paste of corn, stands at one of the sides of the main altar. The Temple is situated facing the Santo Domingo Square. It can be visited every day of the week, from 7:00 am to 1:00 pm and from 4:00 to 8:00 in the afternoons.
-Former Convent of San Agustín,
is a magnificent
religious compound that began to be constructed in 1613, thanks
to the support of a wealthy miner who was seeking to 'ensure' a
place in the kingdom of Heaven. In spite of the generous donation,
the construction was only finished in the last years of the 18th
The delay actually proved to be worth the while, because the Convent is nowadays a splendid edification with its eight huge domes, half pointed arches carved in quarry stone and a patio with pilasters adorned with mouldings. The compound also contains the Temple of San Agustín, built by the Augustine priests after their arrival to Zacatecas in 1575.
During the times of the Reform (1855 - 1861), both the Convent and the Temple became expropriated by the government, resulting in the neglect of its preservation, which caused the loss of many artistic and religious objects.
Almost one year later, between the years of 1948 and 1969, some restoration works were done, but in spite of all the efforts, its premises did never recovered its old splendour. The only reminder of its original magnificence is a drawing that was performed in the year of 1850.
Nowadays the former Convent is the Episcopal headquarters, while the Temple is employed for cultural activities. The compound is located at the Miguel Auza Street and receives visitors from Tuesday to Sunday between 9:00 am and 8:00 pm.
-Mercado González Ortega - Marketplace,
perfect place to buy some of the exquisite wines that are produced
in the region along with a great assortment of fine handcrafts,
specially of those in silver, which resume the creativity and skills
of the people of Zacatecas
The past history of this market can be traced back to the year of 1886, when the construction of this place for business was started in the spot where the old Main Square of the City used to be. The works were concluded in 1889, resulting in a handsomely built neoclassic styled building, with its cast iron columns.
In the year of 1901 a big fire ravaged its third level, where cheerful festivals used to take place, and in 1982 its structure was subject to a complete refurbishing, thus turning into an updated commercial plaza. The market keeps its doors open all days between 9:00 am and 9:00 pm.
-Teatro Calderón - Theatre,
its story begins in
1832, when with the funds raised by the neighbours of Zacatecas
the premises of an old penitentiary began to be remodelled, in order
to transform its gloomy cells and yards into a magnificent theatre
in which the most sublime art expressions could be properly performed.
The history of this theatre was marked by fatality, as if it actually
were performing a great dramatic piece, whose first act, enacted
in the year of 1855, had as its main character a devastating fire
that turned the house of the art of Zacatecas
a pile of ashes.
Nevertheless, the ending of this act brought a spec of hope, when the butny theatre became reopened with the name of the dramaturge Fernando Calderón one May the 16th of 1897. Lately, in 1902, the first movies were to be projected in this hall. This was the end of act one.
Second act: the time is 1914. The Mexican Revolution makes its appearance
in stage. Zacatecas
becomes a chaos, struggles
and fights take place everywhere and a building next to the theatre
was blown with explosives, resulting in severe damages to its facilities
and, as if that was not enough, when the war was over nobody took
the care of restoring its past magnificence. It continued to serve
as a cinematograph, rehearsing hall, radio station, circus arena
and even as a sport field. End of act two, the curtains come down
The last act of this drama is centred in the recovering of the theatre
and starts in the year of 1985. Everything bursts with optimism,
thrust, intent of beautifying a stronghold of the culture of Zacatecas
It was by then recovered its exquisite decorations with a perfect
blend of soberness and elegance, the half pointed arches of the
entrance were rebuilt and the classic elegance became overly renewed
end of the final act.
The Theatre is situated in 501 Hidalgo Street, facing the Goitia Square. It now belongs to the Universidad Autónoma de Zacatecas, which has turned it into its restless and many-purposed cultural centre.
-El Cubo Aqueduct,
in the last years of the viceroyalty
and also in the first times of the new republic, a very long aqueduct
was constructed in Zacatecas
, to bring water from
the El Cubo mine to the place in which nowadays stands the monument
to the General J. Jesús González Ortega and from this point to the
Independencia Garden, the former Villarreal Square.
The aqueduct stopped functioning in 1921 and its memory vanished from the collective memory of the City until the works for enlarging one avenue started. It was then that the authorities decided that the architecture of the ancient canal must be preserved, having called their attention the peculiar archways of pink quarry stone.
In the year of 2002 a special illumination system was installed in order to enhance the great ornamental value of the aqueduct. It crosses the González Ortega Avenue.
-Mina El Edén - Mine,
it may have been due to a
lucky strike, a fortunate event that helped to discover in 1586
a fabulously rich gold and silver vein in a mountain nearby the
heart of Zacatecas. Since then, and for more than three hundred
years, the ores extracted from the entrails of El Edén dominated
the world market thus generating huge fortunes as well as an uncontrolled
exploitation of the indigenes.
The speeding growth of the City, the continuous flooding of the galleries and the near exhaustion of the vein (zinc and copper, along with other minerals were also extracted from the mine, besides gold and silver) motivated the closure of the El Edén Mine, until on January the 1st of 1975 it became reopened, only this time as a tourist attraction.
The tour starts in the La Esperanza Gallery, where a train transports the passengers through a 520 metre long tunnel. Next, the trip is done walking by the galleries, hanging bridges and tunnels of El Edén, which will allow to know and understand the straining job of the miners.
A very peculiar place is the El Malacante Discothèque, located in the area where the grinding of the ores was done in the old days. The most daring visitors can go over a hanging bridge to reach the end of the gallery, wherein they will find the image of the Holy Child of Atocha and an artificial waterfall.
The adventure continues at the cable car that climbs to the top of the La Bufa Mountain (2.620 m.a.s.l.) in a short but nice trip. When you reach the summit, you will experience more than one surprise.
- Cerro la Bufa Mountain, is the ideal place from
which to have a splendid view of the City of Zacatecas.
But besides the splendid panorama from above, you can also visit
there the Sanctuary of the Virgen del Patrocinio (the patroness
saint of the Zacatecans), the meteorological observatory that
was founded in 1906 and the Toma de Zacatecas
Museum (go to the museums item). The story tells that the Spaniards
were who christened this combed mountain with the name La Bufa,
a Vasque word that means 'pig's bladder'.