Monday, May 24, 2010

Zacatecas, Mexico

Zacatecas is a few miles farther. Approaching it you dorp down into a canyon and drive under the high arches of an ancient stone aqueduct dating to the 1700’s. At one time Zacatecas was one of Mexico’s most difficult cities for the motorist to negotiate, but now a divided boulevard by-passes the town, and motorists no longer have to bounce along narrow cobbled streets.

This steep-sloped town is 8,200 feet above sea level. Some parts of town are so steep that stone-stepped sidewalks instead of streets climb the canyon walls. There is a faint pinkish cast to Zacatecas – it is the tint of local sandstone used in most of the buildings. Zacatecas has a splendid cathedral. Its huge facade is intricately carved, and its vaulted interior is supported with stone columns. Its marble altar came from Italy.

A new attraction in Zacatecas is the very interesting project at the top of Cerro de la Bufa, a mountain northeast of the city. A blacktop road has been built to the summit of “La Bufa” where there is an ancient chapel (1728) and a pretty plaza. The view from atop La Bufa is spectacular. The road starts near the University, at the south end of town, and there is ample parking.

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