Most of the Hispanic cities built in the 16th and 17th centuries in Mexico were built near places with rich mineral resources. One such town is the Historic City of Zacatecas whose center was inscribed into the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1993.
The city is located in the State of Zacatecus in a piece of land nestled between Bufa and Grillo Hills. This belt was heavily endowed with silver and hence its attraction to the Spanish. The city was reached its zenith in the 16th and 17th centuries as evidenced by the constellation of civil, religious and residential buildings in the city.
Along with Guanajuato, Zacatecus was one of the two most important mining cities in New Spain. It was a large industrial town with big silver production factories. Its position as a major economic hub meant that it was also one of the most important towns for the colonialists. Not to be left behind were the missionaries that accompanied the Spanish settler community.
Zacatecus is perched on a steep valley. The landscape surrounding it is exceedingly beautiful and speaks volume of the Spanish colonists’ ability to select a site for a city construction. The listed section of the city gives a clear picture of the 16th to 19th century architecture. Its array of large and modest houses showcases the difference in social status of the city’s inhabitants.
In total, there are 15 religious buildings in the historic center of Zacatecus. Among these buildings include the convents of San Francisco, Santo Domingo, San Augustine, and San Juan de Dios. Also in the ensemble is a highly decorated Baroque cathedral that features exceptional facades and other indigenous ideas and techniques. The Jesuit Church of Santo Domingo gives a muted beauty as opposed to the Baroque cathedral’s flamboyance.
Apart from the religious buildings, there are some civil buildings including the 18th century Mala Noche Palace, the pink stone Governor’s Residence, the Calderon Theater and the Iron Framed Gonzalez Market.
Zacatecus is an outstanding example of human achievement in not only architectural and cultural spheres, but also in fueling the industrial revolution. It retains a wealth of documented history and is one of the most studied Hispanic cities in Mexico. Perhaps you should visit the city and see for yourself…no?
For more information on tours of Mexico or accommodation in Zacatecus, please contact one of the Travel Specialists at North South Travel today