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 AGUASCALIENTES City Guide and Directory

Catedral de Aguascalientes, author Ewem Robert
Catedral de Aguascalientes
Aguascalientes is a beautiful colonial city in north central Mexico. Located in the state of Aguascalientes, this historic city was founded in the year 1575. The name Aguascalientes means "Hot Waters" and both the city and state were so named due to the abundance of naturally occurring thermal mineral springs in the area. Originally, the Spanish strategically chose the city of Aguascalientes to establish a much needed outpost to guard against hostile Chichimec Indians who resided in the area. As time went by, the city proved to be an ideal strategic transportation link between between Mexico City and the silver mines of Zacatecas.

There is a lot to see and do while visiting Aguascalientes. Sightseeing activities include viewing the lovingly restored colonial-era buildings located downtown that are situated around the Plaza de la Patria square. Perhaps the most noteworthy of these, the Palacio de Gobierno, features pink stone walls, a handsome central courtyard and murals painted by a disciple of Diego Rivera, Chilean artist Oswaldo Barra Cunninghan. On the west side of the main square sits the Cathedral Basilica, an 18th-century baroque structure that features paintings by the famed colonial painter Miguel Cabrera. Right next to the cathedral is the famed national heritage site Teatro Morelos; this is where in 1914 revolutionary factions convened and discussed their desired political architecture for the country.

Feria de San Marcos
Feria de San Marcos
Each year the city hosts its annual celebration, the San Marcos Fair. This is Mexico's oldest and largest state fair. Beginning in mid-April and ending in the early part of May, this very popular event attracts visitors from all over Mexico. Bullfights are held, fireworks light up the night sky and amusement rides thrill the children.

There are distinctive museums in Aguascalientes worth visiting. One of these, The Jos� Guadalupe Posada Museum, features the work of this renowned artist. Many consider Posada the founder of modern art in Mexico. Known for his calaveras (skulls), Posada created controversial satirical cartoons during Porfirio Diaz's dictatorship. His work contributed to shaping mass opinion which ultimately led to the Mexican Revolution of 1910.

The Aguascalientes Museum has a fine collection of 20th-century art including the works of Saturnino Herran. The artist, born in Aguacalientes, had a style similar to art nouveau. His subject matter included portraits of the everyday citizen. These well executed and beautiful paintings were painted with a high degree of sensitivity towards his subjects.

One of the best spas to visit while in Aquascalientes is the Centro Deportivo Ojo Caliente. Located on the east side of town, this spa features thermal pools with a variety of temperatures to choose from. Additionally, saunas and steam baths are available as are squash and tennis courts.

Aguascalientes is a prosperous industrial city that contributes greatly to Mexico's manufacturing output. It is one of the fastest growing cities in Mexico and makes a nice stop for those traveling between Guadalajara and the state of Zacatecas.

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