Zacatecas Things to Do

  • The Rocks
    The Rocks
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  • Cable Car Over the City
    Cable Car Over the City
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  • Looking Down on the City
    Looking Down on the City
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Most Recent Things to Do in Zacatecas

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    Museo Zacatecano

    by jmbredeck Updated Apr 4, 2011
    Huichol embroidery

    Retablo heaven and Huichol art:
    PART ONE
    An extensive collection of 19th century retablos, a popular form of devotional art. These are small and were usually found in private residences. Unstable times (Reform laws of 1810, for example) and acts of repression against religious authorities contributed to the need for people to worship at home, and to hide (at times) their devotional decorations.
    Aside from the naive, popular quality of the retablos, I was impressed by the iconography. There are so many variations in representations of saints or the Holy Family that I wondered how people read them correctly, how folks today remember them all -- or keep them straight.
    Example: Christ -- there is a section devoted to his image as a child, to his baptism, another in which scenes focus on events relating to the Passion (Christ being whipped, Ecce Home, the Stations of the Cross, The Divine Face etc), Christ crucified, the blood of Christ, teh Sacred Heart of Christ, the Holy Trinity etc, etc.
    Now, this type of religious imagery might bore some people to tears, but students of Art History, or people who like to simply decipher cultural symbols, will find the museum a gem. I also had the good fortune of being there on a day with few visitors - so I had a personal guide walk around with me and answer questions, explain iconographical aspects, lives of saints etc.
    PART TWO
    I had to go back a 2nd time (after a coffee break) to see the other section of the museum which is textile art of the Huichil people. Their geometric patterns and symbols were a nice change from the retablos, and the artifacts on sale within the museum were terrific bead-work pieces. Check them out!

    Días de servicio: De miércoles a lunes. (Cierra los martes)
    Horario: De 10:00 a 16:30 hrs.
    Entrada General: $12.00

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    Mask heavan

    by jmbredeck Updated Apr 4, 2011
    mascaras

    Museo Rafael Coronel
    The largest collection of masks I have ever seen. Be prepared. You begin slowly admiring the different exhibits, by the time youy finish you are walking through rooms in a daze. I was not prepared for the quantity and quality. Chief among the things I found interesting were the masks associated with the Dance of the Christians and the Moors.

    Días de servicio: De jueves a martes. (Cierra los miércoles)
    Horario: De 10:00 a 16:30 hrs.
    Entrada General: $20.00

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    MUSEO DE LA TOMA DE ZACATECAS

    by mtncorg Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Pancho Villa rides again atop la Bufa

    'Toma' means the taking or capture and in this case has to do with the epic 11-day battle in which the forces of Francisco Villa - decisively defeated federal forces - 12000 strong - of General Victoriano Huerta. The battle also brought about an open break between Villa and Venustiano Carranza, the other main warlord in the North fighting against Huerta's forces.

    A brief synopsis of the Mexican Revolution to this point. The 34 years of the Porfiriato, the long reign of Porfirio Diaz culminated in the beginning of the Revolution, when Diaz went back on his word to not run for re-election. Francisco Madero began the rebellion, in late 1910, toppling the old dictator from power. Madero was a bit of a dreamer and trusted in people too much, not realizing that, while the Dictator was gone, most of the supporting cast was not. One of the army generals, Victoriano Huerta, arranged for the brutal murder of both Madero and his brother, and the Revolution was on in earnest. Strong forces gathered in the North and swept in the form of the Division del Norte, south from Ciudad Juarez through Chihuahua. Meanwhile, Morelos State erupted in the rebellion that evolved into Zapatismo, named after their leader, Emiliano Zapata. Here, at Zacatecas, Huerta was beaten and the road to Mexcio City was open. It was to be but the intermezzo for the Revolution, however, which would go on and on.

    The museum atop the Cerro de la Bufa commemorates the epic battle and the revolutionary Division del Norte - 12-23 June 1914. Felip Angeles wrote at the battle's end, 'And finally, at the serene descent of evening, in the full certainty of victory that comes smiling and tender to caress the forehead of Francisco Villa, brave and glorious soldier of the people.' Villa's victories were like that of a meteor, however. His flame would go out following the battles of the Baijio in the following year. Facing the museum are grand equestrian statues of Villa and his lieutenants, Angeles and Panfilo Natera. Villa raises a rifle over his head defiantly.

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    Check Out Some Contemporary Art

    by Jetgirly Written Mar 27, 2008
    Plazuela de Santo Domingo, In Front of el Museo

    Located just a block from the cathedral, Museo Pedro Coronel is a peaceful, pleasant stop on your tour of Zacatecas. Entrance is a total steal at 20 pesos ($2 USD/CAD), and your ticket gives you access to an eclectic collection of art, focusing on contemporary works but veering into everything from Yoruba masks to golden statues of Buddha. Amongst the contemporary artists on display are Picasso, Chagall, Dali and Miro, as well as the museum's namesake's own collection- works by Pedro Coronel Rivera himself. Collections are heavy on sketches and small paintings, don't expect too many sculptures or large works. I found the contemporary works most interesting, but it was also fun to take a wander through some of the other galleries.

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    Visit a Pink Church

    by Jetgirly Written Mar 27, 2008

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    Basilica Fatima - Spire
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    Basilica Fatima's pink spires tower above Zacatecas, and it's worth the short walk to see the beautiful pink church up close. Although the chuch is only a few decades old, the colors are magnificent and the stained glass windows are beautiful. It's a great place to take photos, so don't forget your camera!

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    See a Free Mural

    by Jetgirly Written Mar 27, 2008

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    Mural Detail - Casa de la Moneda

    Casa de la Moneda used to be Zacatecas' mint (the place where they make the money). Today, it is mainly administrative offices (and it was under construction when I visited), but the entrance staircase does feature a large mural by Antonio Pinto Rodríguez showing the history of money in Mexico. As it's free, you may just want to pop your head in as you're passing by.

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    Chill on a Hill

    by Jetgirly Written Mar 27, 2008

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    Approaching the Hill
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    Zacatecas is already a million metres above sea level (okay, maybe only a hundred thousand...) , so what better way to spend a few hours than going even higher? Rising above the city to the east is Cerro de la Bufa, a hill that can be accessed by hike (it ain't no lovely stoll), vehicle or cable car (called the teleferico). On top you'll find the cute Capilla del Patronicinio, a little church, as well as statues honoring Pancho Villa, food and souvenir stalls, and "Northern Mexico's longest zipline" (which looked pretty unsafe to me, judging by the beer cans strewn all around). The views of the city from up here are fantastic, and there are cheap telescopes that you can use to zoom in on life below.

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    Descend (Sort of) Into the Mine!

    by Jetgirly Updated Mar 25, 2008

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    Scary Mine MANnequin
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    Mina el Eden is located inside Cerro del Grillo, just to the west of Zacateca's city center. The easiest (and nicest) way to get there is to follow along the Alameda, then walk up the stairs of the hospital and around the building to the left. There, at the end of Calle de la Loma, you'll find the main entrance. Here, buy a ticket, take a hairnet, select a hardhat and take the adorable miniature train straight into the mine. You don't go too deep vertically in the mine, but you do go quite far inside from the entrance. Once inside, you'll have a few minutes to look at a geological museum and several gift shops (talk about a claustrophobic place to work!) before beginning a group tour of the interior of the mine. Tours are led only in Spanish, but someone with even the most basic command will be able to understand information about the age of the mine, the types of minerals found therein, the people who worked in the mine and some of the superstitions that still live on today (for example, touching the quartz running through the wall is said to bring good luck). Once you've finished the tour, you are actually left to explore the public areas of the mine at your own leisure, and can wander at your own pace. It's an enjoyable tour for people of all ages, though I noticed that they don't have any hard hats that fit children, resulting in kids losing their hats every couple of minutes. Entrance to the mine, including a trip on the train, costs about 60 pesos ($6 CAD/USD). It's well worth the money!

    Don't forget to check out the disco located inside the mine, which is currently open from Thursday to Saturday. You need to take the train into the mine to reach the disco, and reservations are recommended.

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    Take In an Amazing View

    by Jetgirly Written Mar 25, 2008

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    Cable Car Over the City
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    For the first two days that I spent in Zacatecas, the cable car was not running due to high winds. On my third and final day I woke up early and headed to the cable car immediately, knowing it was my last chance to take in the view that would surely be spectacular. I was not disappointed! I walked up to the lower entrance on Cerro del Grillo (which is conveniently close to the exit of Mina El Eden), paid my 25 pesos ($2.50 CAD/USD) for a one-way ticket, and got on the first cable car that was leaving. The views from the cable car truly are spectacular. You feel as though you are floating over the city (okay, because you kind of are), and you can see each and every little detail on the ground that is not that far below you. Although I got up to the top on the first cable car, the wait to get back was more than an hour. Entertainers keep kids in line from getting too bored by doing magic tricks and handing out balloons (tip them, please, if they do something special for your child!), but if you don't like waiting it might be worth your time to walk down (steep but not too far).

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    Mina El Eden.

    by euzkadi Written Aug 7, 2007
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    This visit to this mine is one of the highlights of Zacatecas, the mine was opened in 1586 and was worked until 1969. You have to take a small train that goes into the depths of the mine, after that there´s a walking tour of the mine. Also there´s a huge Disco that opens during the week-ends. Check out the hanging bats near the discotheque entrance.

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    History, archeology and the road.

    by Gatopardo Updated Nov 29, 2006

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    Centro on Avenida Hidalgo towards Cathedral
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    Colonial, the full city is a museum by itself.

    Rafael Coronel or Museo de las Mascaras, photographers will love it. Built inside an old convent, restored to beauty. It has a great huge colection of mask and prehispanic pottery. Walk the garden and see the church. A dream of a jewel.

    Museo Manuel Felguerez, it's better if you get there walking, try Tolosa street, almost in the fuente de los conquistadores there is a tight hidden arch next to a store that sells ice, that is the door way to a very nice callejon, walk up the stairs and you will find the museum, the entrance by crossing a small plaza.

    There is an CONACULTA book store there, worth to see.. then discover the museum that is located in what it was a female jail.. feel the energy in the corridor and sit to watch the Osaka murals..

    Museo de Arte Popular Mexicano
    Walk the street behind the theater on Hidalgo ave, almost next to the ex convento de san agustin, you will read a sign saying Museo de Arte popular mexicano, walk up the stairs once more.. did you find the colors? That is beauty, one of the most precious indigenous groups alive in Nayarit and Zacatecas.. discover the Huicholes.. have you ever heard of Peyote? Huiricuta, then, here is there.

    Museo de la Toma de Zacatecas
    Everytime I visit la Bufa I stop in the church and the Museum, the observatory, see the Mausoleum and climb the rocks, the best i like is the top from the east of the mountain. The museum is tiny but worth, it tells you about what happened in Zacatecas and why we had a revolution.. then you will see what happened to the indigenous who gave their hard work to the spanish while mining their wealth from the mines sent to the spanish crown.. then you will know.

    Museo Ex Convento de Guadalupe
    If you drive to the east, visit Guadalupe and sit in their main plaza, there is the Golden Cieling in the Capilla de Napoles, beautiful religious art.
    Visit the museo de guadalupe, see the murals, their colonial perspective will make you feel they follow you!

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    Cable Car

    by jungles Updated Apr 14, 2006

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    View of the city and desert beyond

    The cable car, or 'teleferico,' offers a fantastic bird's eye view of the entire city and its surroundings, for those who are not afraid of heights. It was built in 1979 by a Swiss company, which, according to the explanation on the ticket, 'gurarantees that it will function in complete safety.' The operator will be happy to point out churches and other points of interest as you pass from one hill to the other on a cable far above the city streets.

    The journey takes eight minutes and will carry you 650m from one station to the other, at a leisurely pace of 1.5 m per second.

    The cable car station is open daily 10am to 6pm, and one-way tickets cost 21 pesos.

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    Guadalupe

    by jungles Updated Apr 5, 2006

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    Courtyard of the monastery
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    Guadalupe is a small town with a lovely church and attached monastery, now a museum. It is an easy day trip from Zacatecas.

    The Viceroyal Museum of Guadalupe (Museo Virreynal) is located in what was the Colegio de Propaganda Fide de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe, founded in 1707 by Friar Antonio Margil de Jesus. The aim of the Colegio was to train monks in the evangelization of infidels in the north zone of New Spain. Inside there is a large collection of viceroyal paintings and original furniture. The upper and lower cloisters are covered with paintings of the Passion of Christ and the life of St. Francis of Assisi, respectively.

    The architecture of the monastery is completely barroque, even though parts of it weren't constructed until the 19th century.

    In the building adjacent to the art gallery is a transport museum with a collection of old vehicles.

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    Aqueduct

    by jungles Written Apr 4, 2006

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    View of the aqueduct from the cable car
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    This aqueduct no longer functions but is nontheless impressive. It is built to the same design as the aqueducts built by the ancient Romans, such as the famous one in Segovia, Spain. Spanish conquistadores exported this ancient technology to the New World.

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    Basilica Fatima

    by jungles Written Apr 4, 2006

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    Gothic steeple
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    Unlike the many colonial churches in Zacatecas, this one was built just a few decades ago as a neo-gothic replica of a church in Fatima, Portugal. The original Portuguese church stands on the site where three sheperd children were said to have seen visions of the Virgin Mary in 1917 and is a major piligrimage destination for Catholics.

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