Mexico’s colonial cities are a witness of the past and beauties of the present. Memories from the times in which the Spaniards arrived to Mexican territory, –October 12th, 1492– and the fusion of customs and traditions between two cultures.
This mixture, which generated internal struggles, left an invaluable architectonical, historical and cultural legacy in the country.
Guanajuato, the city of callejonadas (alley tours)
In Guanajuato, the colonial heritage can be seen in its architecture and its estudiantinas (student bands), these later, artistic legacies from Spain.
Estudiantinas are musical groups characterized by playing religious and fun songs. Their popularity has turned them in a must see when you visit the city, above all during the callejoneadas (alley parties), in which the musicians and the public travel the streets at the rhythm of guitars. These generally end at the Plazuela San Fernando, where you can admire the colonial houses and buildings surrounding it.
Very close to the capital of the State of Guanajuato there is the beautiful city of San Miguel de Allende, appointed cultural Heritage of Mankind in 2008 in which the colonial art is reflected in building such as the Parrish of San Miguel Arcángel, Templo de la Tercera Orden (Temple of the Third Order), Instituto Allende, Ángela Peralta Theater, among others.
Puebla, the city with wings
The so called Puebla de los Ángeles (Puebla of the Angels) by traditions, in a beginning was conceived as a resort and commerce spot for the Spaniards, without knowing that it would turn into the second most important city of the New Spain.
Amongst its streets it keeps an exquisite colonial character, in which churches of admirable domes dressed in colorful tiles and constructions made of tile, brick and talavera stand out.
Popular by its food, from which mole poblano, chiles en nogada (peppers in walnut sauce), chalupas and cemitas stand out, was appointed as Heritage of Mankind on December 11th, 1987.
If you visit this city, you cannot miss its historical downtown and Plazuela de los Sapos (small square of toads), in which you will find gastronomy, handcraft talavera and antiques, paintings, furniture, and jewels that belonged to families of the colonial epoch.
Morelia, the old Valladolid
Named in 1545 as the city of Valladolid, in honor to its homonym in Spain, Morelia lives under the architectonic layout of the colonial times.
A tour through its historical downtown, appointed as Cultural Heritage of Mankind in 1991, in which there remains its Cathedral, made of pink quarry and of tabled baroque style, it is an example of the valuable architectonical and colonial legacy of Morelia.
Querétaro and its 74 arcs
Another jewel of Mexico is the city of Querétaro, capital of the state of the same name, in which the reminiscence of the colonial epoch is kept trapped in its constructions.
A sample of it are the 74 arcs and 23 meters high conforming its old aqueduct, considered by many as the most important urban construction of the Eighteenth century in Mexico.
The delicacy of its layout makes it an architectonic wonder, for which it has became in an compulsory tour for those visiting the city.
Its cathedral is another example of the great architectural heritage of the city. It remains in the old Oratorio of San Felipe Neri and it was one of the last constructions made in the colonial period.