City of Guadalajara

Origin of what is Mexican

The word Guadalajara comes from the Arabic word "Wad-al-hidjara", which means "river that runs between stones". Despite its very particular name, the capital of the state of Jalisco is known with many others around the world; After all, few cities in Mexico have as many references as the "Pearl of the West".

You can not expect less from a city that was founded at the beginning of the Mexican colonial era, but that also had to be founded three times more ...

The first settled in Nochistlán, today a municipality of another state, Zacatecas, in 1535. The following year it was moved to the town of Tonalá. The third Guadalajara was founded in 1539, after a great battle between Indians and Spaniards in the Mixtón hill. And the definitive foundation was in the Valley of Atemajac on February 14, 1542, which today is the historic center of the city.

Several of the songs that are considered typically Mexican, have their inspiration here.

Many of the images that are known in the world as "the most Mexican" are from Guadalajara, like its cathedral and its calenders, its mariachis ...

The Hospicio Cabañas, for example, is the work of the architect Manuel Tolsá, and was completed in 1845. An impressive building with its 23 courtyards and more than a hundred rooms.

In this place, José Clemente Orozco painted one of his most representative murals: "The man of fire". Currently, Hospicio Cabañas is a cultural center where part of the work of the muralist is exhibited and has been declared as a Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

On the other hand, the Degollado Theater is one of the symbols of Guadalajara. Many of the most important figures of culture and entertainment have passed through its stage ...

As Guadalajara is a city that can be enjoyed walking, we recommend Chapultepec Avenue for its breadth, its groves and monuments. Its central ridge also has rest benches and fountains with bronze sculptures, making it an essential walk.

Another mandatory visit is the Metropolitan Cathedral, with its mix of Gothic, Baroque and Moorish styles. An architecture that moves from diversity to the sublime.

Guadalajara is also a city that has left its mark through its men and women. That is why, in 1951, the Rotunda of the Illustrious Jaliscienses was built, a monument with 15 columns that hold a quarry ring where "Jalisco to its enlightened sons" is read. It has 98 urns to house the remains of prominent figures in art, literature, science and improvement work in the city.

A very special event for this city is the Book Fair of Guadalajara or, as all the people know it, the FIL, which is one of the most important literary events of the year. It takes place in November.

We can not fail to mention the numerous contributions that the Tapatíos have brought to the national gastronomy, such as the cakes drowned, which were invented almost a century ago and that have spread throughout Mexico, to the point where varieties of it can be made. try in the most unexpected corners.

We could continue talking about Guadalajara without stopping, but with the words we only approach what this city is, represents and what it feels to know and live it. This is truly a city representative of Mexico; A symbol of the country in the whole world.

¿Qué Visitar?

What to Visit?

  • Metropolitan Cathedral Its construction began in the sixteenth century and it is especially famous because of the exquisite neo-gothic style that features its façade. Its towers are 65 meters high.
  • Government Palace Built in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, this palace features a neo-colonial style. Besides the many governmental offices that are located within its facilities, there is also a museum where you can learn interesting details about the local history.
  • Rotunda of the Local Celebrities Built in 1954 with quarry stone in a circular way held by 17 columns, this mausoleum holds the rests of some of the most prestigious local celebrities.
  • Degollado Theater It was inaugurated in 1866.
  • Cabañas Cultural Institute It was designed by the famous architect Manuel Tolsá in the early nineteenth century, at the end of the colonial era. Originally, it functioned as a hospice in charge of a religious order. It is especially remarkable because of the 53 impressive murals painted by the local artist José Clemente Orozco, and which narrate the most important events of the Mexican History. Since 1997, it is catalogued as a Cultural heritage of Mankind by UNESCO.
  • San Juan de Dios Market Recognized as the largest roofed market in whole Latin America, this is an ideal place to acquire souvenirs, handicrafts and to try the delicious local cuisine.
  • Clemente Orozco’s Workshop Museum This is the original workshop and studio where the famous local muralist José Clemente Orozco used to work. Now that it has become a museum, you can admire his paintings, and attend some of the exhibitions and concerts that are organized there.
¿Qué hacer?

What to do?

  • San Pedro Patronal Fair Organized in June each year, in this fair there are solemn religious activities and also the most important artisanal exhibition in whole Mexico. During this event, the National Award of Ceramics is given to the winner of the respective contest.
  • International Summit of Mariachi and Horsemanship It takes place in June each year, when mariachis from Mexico and all over the world gather here to perform the best of this traditional music.
  • October Festivities It consists on music and dance shows, cockfights that include the performance of national and international singers and bands, crowning of a queen, and many other folkloric events.
  • Book International Fair (FIL) Organized in November each year, this book fair is considered the largest one in Mexico and one of the most important in the world. Its program is so rich, that more than 50 events are organized every day.
Comida Típica

Typical Food

  • Pozole A typical Mexican dish that consists on a spicy broth seasoned with pork or chicken meat, and ears of corn. It is served with lettuce, radish and onions on top of the broth.
  • Birria Goat meat slowly baked in its own juice or consommé seasoned with chili, and it is served with tortillas.
  • Enchiladas Corn tortillas fried in oil and hot sauce, and stuffed with meat or vegetables, and served with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, sour cream, and cheese on top of them.
  • Carnitas Pieces of pork meat cooked slowly in its own lard and also in a special broth, which makes them taste delicious!
  • Tortas ahogadas Literally meaning "Drowned Sandwich", this typical dish consists on a kind of baguette bread that is stuffed with seasoned pork meat, and which is served floating in a spicy broth of tomato.
  • Tamales Corn dough mixed with lard, and stuffed with pork meat or other kind of meat in a spicy green or red sauce, and finally wrapped up with corn leaves to be steamed up. Don´t read it, just try it!
  • Tequila Very famous Mexican alcoholic beverage that comes out after the distillation of an endemic cactus.
¿Qué Saber?

What to Know?

  • Before the city was established in its current location, there were three attempts to found it. The first one took place in 1532, the second one in 1533, and the third one in 1535.
  • In 1539, the Spanish Crown officially gave to Guadalajara the title of Town along with its Coat of Arms.
  • On December 6th, 1810, Miguel Hidalgo promulgated here the Abolition of the Slavery, a document of great importance in the political and social aspects during the beginning of the Independence War.
  • In 1884, the local streets were illuminated with electrical power for the very first time.
  • Renowned Individuals:
  • Valentín Gómez Farías (1781 – 1858) Nineteenth century politician who was President of Mexico in five different periods.
  • Francisco Márquez (1834 – 1847) One of the cadets that defended the Military Academy in Chapultepec during the War against USA in 1847, and because he and five of his partners died heroically then, they are nationally known as "Niños Héroes" (Heroic Kids).

Popular Craft

  • Blown Glass
  • Blacksmith’s trade
  • Silver-smith’s pieces
  • Pottery
  • Ceramics
  • Embroideries
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