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Tapalpa

Town from the sky

The beauty of its wooded surroundings, full of frosty clouds and radiant blue, as well as the everlasting splendor of its mansions, churches and squares, make believe that Tapalpa is out of this world ... But this Magic Town is as much ours as Jalisco.

Located 118 kilometers south of Guadalajara, Tapalpa was founded by the Otomíes. Its name means "place of land of color". The Spaniards arrived at the place in 1531, under the orders of Captain Alonso de Ávalos, their conqueror.

The most distinctive feature of Tapalpa is the whitewashing of its white facades and the red of its gable roofs, all its buildings erected over streams of millenary stones: its unmistakable cobblestone streets.

Also unique are its piles or communal fountains, as beautiful as they are ancient: the Culebras, the Perro, the Tecolote and La Colorada, original names that evoke colonial legends.

Among its temples, the Parish of San Antonio de Padua stands out for its antiquity and tradition. Built in 1650 by Franciscan monks, this parish rises on an embankment that levels the hillside on which it sits. On its west side there is a beautiful esplanade with arcades and quarry fountains.

The Temple of Our Lady of Mercy, from the mid-nineteenth century, is an authentic neoclassical jewel, with its gray quarry columns and beautiful murals, domes and stained glass windows.

Finally, as regards sacred art, the Temple of Our Lady of Guadalupe, from the second half of the twentieth century, is a monument to the unity and determination of the inhabitants of Tapalpa, who raised it on their horizon with their own donations and sacrifices.

As a site of interest, the Plazoleta el Fresnito should also be included, where an ash tree actually stands, but not small, as might be supposed by its name, but enormous. So high is that, during the Cristero War, it was the favorite tree to hang the Catholic rebels.

In the surroundings, not only coniferous forests and green valleys rise. There is, for example, the former hospital of Indians of Atacco, which the Franciscans built as one of the first centers of evangelization in the region.

¿Qué Visitar?

What to Visit?

  • Old Temple of Saint Anthony Built in the seventeenth century by Franciscan friars, this ancient temple still conserves its original floor made with mesquite wood.
  • Pilas (Fountains) Colonial public fountains that are still working to bring water to the locals.
  • Chapel of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Built between 1550 and 1555, this chapel features a beautiful baroque dome.
  • Sculptural Garden Here you can admire some masterpieces made by the famous Mexican sculptors, Sebastian and Alejandro Colunga.
¿Qué hacer?

What to do?

  • Festivity of Our Lady of Mercy It takes place on September 21st – 24th each year, and there are serenades, fireworks and religious processions.
  • Moon Festival It takes place in November, when many cultural events are organized.
  • Festivity of Our Lady of Guadalupe It takes place on December 4th – 12th each year, when the locals and the people from nearby communities gather to celebrate the so called "Queen of Mexico" with religious processions, serenades, traditional food, and fireworks.
  • You can practice extreme sports in some of the surrounding places.
Comida Típica

Typical Food

  • Pastor Meat Marinated pork meat or beef with a sauce made of three kinds of chili and also with orange and pineapple juice.
  • Birria Goat meat slowly baked in its own juice or consommé seasoned with chili, and it is served with tortillas.
  • Pomegranate Punch
  • Milk candies
¿Qué Saber?

What to Know?

  • In Azteca language, the word Tapalpa means "Colored Ground," although some other historians interpret it as "Ground rich in colors."
  • Before the arrival of the conquistadors, this area was inhabited by the Otomi people.
  • On May 11th, 1878, the community was granted with the official title of Villa.

Popular Craft

  • Ceramics and pottery
  • Carved wood
  • Wooden furniture
  • Wool weaves
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