What is there to see in Centro Historico?
The Cathedral on Av. Alcalde between Av. Hidalgo
and Calle Morelos is a good place to start. It was begun in 1561
and took about 30 years to complete. Dedicated to the Virgin of the
Assumption, this Cathedral is easy to spot with its twin spires.
The spires were actually destroyed in an earthquake (1818) and replaced
in 1854 with the spires you see today.
Also of note are the 10 silver & gold altars which were gifts from
King Fernando VII of Spain to thank Guadalajara for its support in
the Napoleonic War.
Relics from the past : The Cathedral is home to the "Virgin
located in a small chapel on the left as you enter. The story about
this relic dates back to a time when large Catholic churches needed
some sacred artifact to make it a holy place. Churches in Europe
already had more than one John the Baptist head, duplicates of Apostle
bones, and enough pieces of the "true" cross to fill a
small forest. Lacking an established relic or remains of a dead Saint,
they needed something else . . . So, the Roman Catholic Church came
up with the bones of a young girl in 1786 . . . The bones were sent
to Guadalajara with a story about a young Christian girl who died
while protecting her virginity in the 3rd century. Presto, a Martyr
with a story that would make all love and adore this new addition
to the Roman Church's list of pseudo-saints murdered by the Romans.
Whether or not the story of how the girl who died 1300 years before
her bones were pronounced holy was ever true is beside the fact.
The fact is that if you say it long enough, history turns the story
into tradition, and tradition becomes a historical fact which has
no room for the truth. So no, there is no proof whatsoever to back
up the story . . . but the faithful BELIEVE the bones to be those
of a young girl which TRADITION says was killed while protecting
Museo Regional de Guadalajara : Originally built in 1701 to be a
seminary, this historic building has been a museum since 1918. The
museum explores pre-columbian history through the Spanish conquest
and includes some carriages from the 1800's and some paintings. Calle
Liceo 60, Centro Historico. Entrance is $3 USD. Open Tuesday through
Saturday from 9 to 5:30 and Sunday from 9 to 4:30.
While exploring the historic center with its beautiful
buildings, fountains and monuments . . . bear in mind that Av. Independencia
(near Plaza Tapatia) runs right past the Mercado Libertad.
Look for the elevated pedestrian walkway that leads to it. The mercado
is a must for shoppers looking for something to take home.
Agua Caliente : A water park located at Km 56 on Carretera a Barra
de Navidad . . . how long it will take to get there depends on what
part of Guadalajara you are coming from . . . but it is around a
half hour outside of town. The water park includes wave pool, water
slides and restaurants.
Lake Chapala is close by and you should take around an hour to get
there from most parts of Guadalajara.
Puerto Vallarta is a 4 and a half hour bus ride away . . . which
makes it a nice beach destination within striking distance.