As a result from the economical apogee of the miners, Zacatecas
became 'populated' by some magnificent buildings, as the gloomy
though harmonic Palacio de Gobierno, a boisterous deed from the
17th century, with cast iron railings and a central patio framed
by half point arches. A true beauty as it is.
Nowadays, many of the architectonical jewels of the colonial times
are the seats to impressive museums (to some they are the best of
all around Mexico
), standing out among them the
Pedro Coronel Museum, owner of the most valuable collection of universal
art in Latin America, containing works by masters like Picasso,
Chagall, Dalí, Vassarely, Joan Miró and Goya.
Another museum worth visiting is the Rafael Coronel, which shelters a collection of more than 5 thousand Mexican masks, being the biggest in the world of its kind. The masks exhibited in its halls depict the most intense feelings. These are the faces of angels and demons, of shepherds and beasts, of sad and happy men. The faces of the popular festivities and dances of the Country.
Streets filled with the history of Zacatecas
City that was founded in 1546, after important veins of gold and
silver were discovered. Its name comes from the Náhuatl voices zacatl
(zacate: herb or grass) and tecate (people), which could be translated
as "people from the grasslands".
Due to the great production of its mines, the City of Zacatecas
Capital of the State with the same name located in the central part
of the Country, received from Phillip II, the king of Spain, a coat
of arms and the title of "most noble and loyal City" (1585 - 1588).
Although the history of Zacatecas
-at an approximate
altitude of 2.200 m.a.s.l. and a distance of 560 kilometres from
Mexico City- is oldest and goes back to the Pre-Hispanic settlements
of nomadic and sedentary groups.
These cultural tracks were registered for posterity in the more
than 500 archaeological sites strewn throughout the State. From
all these places, the two most interesting ones are Altavista (230
kilometres at the Northwest of Zacatecas
), a ceremonial
and astronomical centre of the Chalchihutes Culture; and La Quemada
(50 kilometres at the Southeast of Zacatecas), that should be the
mythical Chicomostoc, from where the Aztecs departed to found the
The tour does not end in the Historical Centre, neither it does at the museums nor in the archaeological compounds. The journey must include a tour through the galleries of the El Edén Mine, discovered in 1586. This mine was the origin of many fortunes, but also brought an exploitation of the natives. Its production became exhausted after dominating the world trade market for more than 300 years. Nowadays, its premises are a very interesting tourist centre.
When leaving El Edén, you must get aboard the cable car on a short and amusing trip to the top of the La Bufa Mountain, a natural viewing point to achieve a full sight of the lovely Zacatecas: the city of yesterday, the city of today, the city of always. An unforgettable city.