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Begins and ends in Mexico City.

 

Aguascalientes

The city of Aguascalientes is the capital of the state of Aguascalientes and it stands on the banks of the Río Aguascalientes, 1888 meters above sea level. The city was founded on 22 October 1575 by Juan de Montoro as a postal service rest stop between the city of Zacatecas and Mexico City. Although its founders did not envision it becoming a major city, it became the capital of the newly formed state of the same name when its territory was split off from the adjacent state of Zacatecas in 1835. When the state separated from Zacatecas, Aguascalientes raced ahead in its development, while the state of Zacatecas remained behind in comparison.

The name originates from the Spanish words, "aguas calientes" meaning "hot waters," part of the original name of "Villa de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción de las Aguas Calientes" (Village of our Lady of Ascension of the Hot Waters). When the city was first settled by Juan de Montoro and 12 families, it was given this name for its abundance of hot springs.

These thermal features are still in demand in the city's numerous spas and even exploited for domestic use. People from Aguascalientes are known by the whimsical Spanish demonym hidrocálidos or "hydrothermal" people.

Aguascalientes was born out of four original neighborhoods. Guadalupe was where most travelers stayed on their way to Mexico City, and has some of the most beautiful cemeteries in Mexico. Triana, named after a neighborhood in Seville, has the most Spanish influence in its architecture, and is the oldest neighborhood in the city. It is home to the Jose Guadalupe Posada museum and the magnificent Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe. La Salud was intended to be a great conventual complex, but it was never completed; only the church, cemetery and square remain lined in colonial style stone streets. The San Marcos neighborhood is where the fabled San Marcos Fair has been celebrated for hundreds of years, is notable for its neoclassical garden and baroque church.

The prominent Baroque Cathedral, begun in 1575, is the oldest major building in the city. The Church of our Lady of Guadalupe possesses an extraordinarly exuberant Baroque facade designed by José de Alcibar, a renowned architect of the period considered to be one of the most famous artists in Mexico in the 1770s. The Camarin of the Immaculate in the church of San Diego is considered by historians to be the last Baroque building in the world; it links the Baroque and Neoclassical styles; it is the largest of the fewer than ten of these type of structures built in the whole continent. The Baroque Government Palace, dating from 1664 and constructed out of red volcanic stone, it is known for its hundred arches.

The historic center is home to several outstanding museums including the Aguascalientes Museum, the city's art museum, housed in a Classical-style building designed by the beloved self-trained architect Refugio Reyes. The Guadalupe Posada Museum, located in the historic nationhood of Triana, exhibits the life and work of José Guadalupe Posada; and the State History Museum, which is housed in an elegant Art Nouveau mansion typical of the Porfirian period with and ornate patio and dining room with vegetable motifs in a Mediterranean style, with a French Academism facade, and interior columns and an arcade of pink stone characteristic of Porfirian Eclecticism. Other designs by Refugio Reyes include the Paris Hotel, the Francia Hotel, and his masterpiece, the superb Church of San Antonio, considered to be one of the most beautiful churches in Mexico. The tall column in the center of the main square dates from colonial times; it held a statue of a Spain's viceroy, which was toppled when the country gained independence; the current sculpture on its summit commemorates Mexican independence.

Los Arquitos cultural center used to be one of the first bathhouses in the city, declared a historic monument in 1990. The Ojocaliente is also an original bathhouse still in use today, and fed with thermal springs. La Estación Historic Area contains the Old Train Station and Railway Museum historic complex, which at some point in 1884 formed the largest rail hub and warehouses in all Latin America. The complex is adorned with dancing fountains, a railway plaza and original locomotives and monuments. It was in this complex that the first locomotive completely manufactured in Mexico was made.

Aguascalientes Church - Mexico
Aguascalientes Church Facade - Mexico
Aguascalientes Indoor - Mexico
Aguascalientes Museum - Mexico
Aguascalientes Archway - Mexico
Aguascalientes Column - Mexico Aguascalientes Morelos Theater - Mexico
 

Aguascalientes is also home to some of the country's leading provincial theaters, like the historical Morelos Theater, important for its role during the Mexican Revolution as a convention site; architecturally the building is notable for its facade and interior, which houses a small museum. The Teatro Aguascalientes is the city's premier theatre and opera house and is equipped with the latest technology. In addition, in the modern section of the city, the Museo Descubre astonishes as an interactive museum of science and technology and the Museum of Contemporary Art is the city's premier art museum.

Aguascalientes organizes the largest festival held in Mexico, the San Marcos Fair, which takes place from the middle of April to the beginning of May. The celebration was held originally in the San Marcos church, neighborhood, and its magnificent neoclassical garden; since then, it has greatly expanded to cover a huge area of exposition spaces, bullrings, nightclubs, theaters, performance stages, theme park, hotels, convention centers, and other attractions. It attracts almost 7 million visitors to Aguascalientes every year. Aguascalientes today identifies itself as at the confluence of tradition and industry. Its preserved colonial center testifies to its rich architectural heritage and cultural vision. On the other hand, the planned peripheral expressways, as well as its first class avenues and lanes, are surrounded with industrial parks that employ thousands of people. Aguascalientes City is one of the 15 largest metropolitan areas by population in the country, with approximately one million inhabitants in the year 2005. It is one of the fastest growing cities in Mexico. The largest Nissan plant outside Japan is located in the city. Due to this the city has a significant Japanese population. There are also several companies dedicated to integrated circuitry, automobile, electronics and robotics industry.

 

 

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