El Museo, de la Universidad Juárez del Estado de Durango (UJED), mejor conocido como El Aguacate
This museum has a little of everything - located in a house that belonged to the family of don Francisco Gómez Palacio in the 19th century. It's known as "the avocado" becuse there was an avocado tree that grew in the patio (or maybe it was a garden?)
It has permanent exhibits about old Durango in its 12 rooms; on the ground floor are rooms dedicated to history and other museum collections; the second floor rooms exhibit remains of primitive Durango cultures.
This museum brings together a simple presentation of the historical roots of the region, presenting aspects of its natural environment, archeology, colonial periods, Independence, the Porfiriato and the Revolution.
In addition, it has a modest painting collection of canvases by the celebrated Oaxacan artist of the 18th c. Miguel Cabrera. There is also a room dedicated to the historic rebellion of the "Cristeros" and an interesting view of the state in the 10th century. Attention is paid to the important role that U.S. cinema and motion pictures played to the area's history.
Los horarios de visita son: de martes a sábado de 9:00 a 15:00 hrs y los domingos de 10:00 a 14:00 horas.
Easy to overlook this small museum - but I thought it was well done and attractive inside.I suppose I was jut in the mood for some of this geographical, archeological type of data, and that's why I liked it so much. You might like the ceramics or the exhibit that takes you down (literally, using stairs) into the ground to visit recreations of tombs and thier contents.
Visita: martes a viernes de 10:00 a 18:00 horas.
sabados y domingos: de 11:00 a 19:00 horas.
Probably the most impressive colonial work of civic architecture in town - a town that was the capital for its time of Nuevo Vizcaya.
It now houses (a bit awkwardly, in my view) offices for Banamex - but they don't mind if you go in, wander around and sketch or take photos. I thought the exterior was impressive (elaborate sculpture and moldings around main doorway), and then I went inside to see the courtyard.
Este monumento ocupa el lugar de la antigua parroquia de La Asunción, consumida por un indendio hacia 1634 luego de ser nombrada catedral. El nuevo edificio se comenzó a construir en 1713, la obra no se terminó sino hasta 1844, cuando se concluyeron los altares. En su fachada, de sobrio estilo barroco, resaltan las columnnas salomónicas del segundo cuerpo, los monogramas de María en el remate y la cruz de hierro forjado; está enmarcada por torres de tres cuerpos que pertenecen a la última fase constructiva del edificio. Las fachadas laterales también son de estilo barroco salomónico y en ellas destaca una profusa decoración vegetal que se derrama por toda la cantera. Su interior luce, un decorado de estilo similar al bizantino, aplicado a principios del siglo XX. En los altares hay buenas esculturas y pinturas, y en el principal destaca la imagen de la Virgen de la Asunción. La sillería del coro, obra del primer tercio del siglo XVIII, eshibe figuras de santos y apóstoles labradas finamente en madera estofada.
The Victoria Theatre is next to the State Government Palace and was built as a private theatre in 1800, remodeled with a neoclassical style façade and renamed Victoria in 1910 to honour Mexico's first President (1824-29), Guadalupe Victoria, a Duranguese. Currently it's a cultural center, open daily from 10:00 to 19:00 hours. It also is home to classical music concerts, seating almost 500 people.
Try to find the silhouette of the ghostly nun in the cathedral tower on a full moon night. I have seen it!! (Pope John Paul II visited this church in 1990)
Legend goes that a maiden had a boyfriend who went to war. As time passed and he didn't return, she decided to became a nun but she never forgot him and secretly hoped him to someday come back. She died and her ghost still awaits him in the cathedral. You can see the ghostly nun in the tower, looking away, expecting to see him.
Fact: if you look carefully from a certain angle at right or left side, you can recognize the silhouette of a nun. It is just a moonlight and shadow combination outlining a woman in religious clothes. It is somewhat difficult to appreciate it currently because of all the city light, but surely in past times it was really scary to see her in a dark night.
Read about another thrilling local legend in my Queretaro City page.
Have you seen Westerns? Yes, those films with lots of cowboys and indians. Well, many of them were filmed here in Durango, not in the USA! Actor John Wayne filmed 7 here!
And many of the movie sets are still there today! Go to Chupaderos (see postcard), a ghost town about 20 kms from Durango City.
Or better yet, visit Villas del Oeste (Western Villages) a modern themed park, with living cowboys and real horses. There you can enjoy of gunfighting, piano music at the saloon, and beautiful girls dressed according to the time and dancing can-can.
Food and souvenirs available. Entrance is only 1 dollar!
You don't need to be Emmit Brown or Marty McFly to go back in time and enjoy the Wild West! :)