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Main Chihuahua's sights are clustered in the City Center scattered in a few-block area. With all due respect, there isn't much to be impressed with about the tourist sites and the same city center - an unbalanced blend of colonial buildings, modern constructions, small streets and wide avenues - is not too pleasant to walk around, but anyway you can spend a couple of hours walking around and going through some of the key moments of Mexican National history.
The heart of the City Center is Plaza de la Constitución with the Colonial Cathedral with the baroque façade; in the day-hours it is lively and crowded with street vendors and passers-by. A couple of blocks off the Square, reached by an unattractive walking avenue with retail shops and US-chain eateries, is the Palacio de Gobierno (Government Palace), the place where Father Miguel Hidalgo was executed during the Mexican War of Independence; other than for its historical relevance, it is worth visiting for the murals in the inner court. If you are into history you may also stop by the Palacio Federal, today the main Post Office, right across the street, where at the lower level you can visit the cell were Father Hidalgo was held prisoner; do not expect much from the visit, you'll find just a reconstruction of the cell along with few objects that supposedly belonged to the man. On the other side of the street the white church in a large square is the Iglesia de San Francisco, the place where Hidalgo's body was buried; I did not visit it the inside but the all-white building makes a nice color contrast with the brown hills and the blue sky. If you still have time to spare you can some few more blocks an get to the University's cultural center Quinta Gameros, an art nouveau mansion housing the Regional Museum. I did not visit (closed on Mondays) the Museo de la Revolución, dedicated to the hero of Mexican Revolution Pancho Villa that supposedly is another attraction worth visiting; you can check it out.
Updated Oct 14, 2008
This is a relatively new park that was built on an area that was cleared and the people moved to newer neighborhoods. Apparently this had been a high crime area that was very hard to control and moving the families and tearing down the "slum" solved the problem. There is a bandstand that is shaped like a pigeon coop, a statue of Anthony Quinn (a native son of Chihuahua) doing his famous "Zorba the Greek" dance and a statue of a bull that commemorates the cattle industry in Chihuahua.
Updated Sep 1, 2008
Address: Just north of central storico
General Francisco "Pancho" Villa is the most famous hero of the Revolution of 1910. He was quite the ladies man and married several times (one rumor is 23 times!) and never with the aid of a divorce. He was assassinated in 1923 and several of his wives claimed his estate. This created quite a mess that had to be cleared up and the Mexican govenment finally declared that Luz Corral de Villa was his legal heir. His mansion was named for her (Quinta Luz) and was also used for his primary guard during the revolution. The villa is run and maintained by the Mexican military and is used as a museum. One of the interesting items on display is the car he was driving when he was assassinated - you can see the bullet holes in it. The tile floors in the music room are magnificent.
Updated Jan 31, 2008
Address: La 3014 Calle 10 Norte, Chihuahua
The Cathedral of Chihuahua took about 100 years to build with construction being an on/off affair depending on how much money was available and local hostilities. The quality of the work is truly outstanding. There are Murano glass chandeliers in the cathedral and some of the marble used in construction was brought over from Italy.
Updated Jan 31, 2008
Address: Old town
There are some very pretty parks/plazas in the old town, especially in front of the cathedral and the Governor's Palace. There are street vendors selling hot corn on the cob and cups of corn kernels as well as many family groups sitting around watching the kids feed the pigeons. It just reminds you that kids everywhere are the same and love feeding the pigeons and then scaring them to make them fly off. The park benches are quite beautiful and there are statues with the required pigeon sitting on the statue's head. There is usually a bandstand as well - this seems to be a requirement of plazas in Mexico.
Updated Jan 31, 2008
Address: Old town Chihuahua
The Governor's Palace is a beautiful building to which an additional story has been added - and done quite well because it is very hard to tell that this major of a modification has been made. There are gorgeous murals painted on the walls facing the courtyard, similar to those of Orozco in Guadalajara. They depict the history of Mexico, and the State of Chihuahua, in particular. There is a shrine that marks the spot where Father Miguel Hidalgo, father of Mexican Independence from Spain, was executed as well as murals depicting his execution.
Updated Jan 19, 2008
Address: Governor's Palace
terminus of the "chihuahua al pacifico" line .
you take it at the station "chihuahua al pacifico",avenida ocampo,2km SW of plaza de armas...
it leaves daily at 7am,but the show really beguins after half a way....
more info and travelogue:SEE my LOS MOCHIS page...
Written Oct 26, 2002
We got a kick out of how the vendors would display ladies denim pants - they were on these mannequins where some were wearing "invisible" high heeled shoes. The denims were impossibly tight. We kept seeing this type of display and just found it funny. Decorated rear pockets seemed to be the rage. I just think they make your bum look larger!
Updated Jan 14, 2008
A traditional food is Nopalitos - the pads of Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia sp.) that are prepared by removing the spines and then steaming. They are actually quite good and are probably available in a can or jar in the Mexican food section of your grocery store - and maybe even fresh if you are lucky. They are a very common ingredient in meals usually served as a side dish. They taste a lot like string beans.
The attached photos are of a vegetable vendor in the old city market. He was nice enough to demonstrate to us how to prepare a cactus pad without skewering ourselves.
Updated Jan 14, 2008