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Mexico’s second largest city is an excellent introduction to this country, with its vibrant historic center, the art and craft markets, its folkloric ballet and mariachi orchestras. The town of Guadalajara was founded in 1531 by Spanish explorer Cristóbal de Oñate. Then between 1531 and 1542 after few relocations, today's city of Guadalajara was founded at its current site by Crístobal de Oñate on February 14, 1542, by Royal decree of King Charles V. Guadalajara, it is considered the city that most epitomizes the external concept of Mexico propagated by the international mass media (characterized by charros, tequila, sombreros, and mariachis). Some of the main landmarks in Guadalajara historic center are:

Guadalajara Cathedral - Mexico   Juarez Theater Guadalajara - Mexico

· Guadalajara Cathedral with an eclectic mix of gothic, neoclassical and palladian architecture.

· Plaza of the Crosses. Four Plazas shaped like a cross with the Cathedral at the center.

· Plaza de Armas offers one of the best views of the cathedral and the Governor's Office. It features a French Ironwork from 1885 and four States on the corners of the place symbolizing the Four Seasons.

· Plaza de la Liberación features two large cup-shaped fountains and a gigantic sculpture of Miguel Hidalgo, the man who signed the Mexican Declaration of Independency on the current Governor's Office. It also serves as an atrium for the oldest surviving theatre in the city "Teatro Degollado", also it is an usual spot for massive free concerts.

· Rotonda de los Jalicienses Ilustres serves as a mausoleum for important men and women born in Jalisco, the park around contrasts with the serious aspect of the Mausoleum itself.

· Palacio de Gobierno is the historical center of the government of the State of Jalisco. Today it is mostly visited for the murals painted there by José Clemente Orozco. The most famous of these is a huge portrait of Miguel Hidalgo in the vault of the old chambers of the state council.

· Instituto Cultutal Cabañas, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997, is a cultural and art center where fresco paintings of Jose Clemente Orozco are exhibited.

State Government Building Guadalajara - Mexico   Orozco Mural of Hidalgo State Government Building Guadalajara - Mexico

Begins and ends in Mexico City.

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