Welcome to Guadalajara! This is Mexico’s second largest city and it is big. It has a population of 5 million which is bigger than all of New Zealand. Which I find just a little crazy.

 

It was overwhelming when I first arrived from the quiet village of Ajijic, an hour’s bus ride away, as there were so many people and it was loud!

 

I was staying in the historic center (Guadalajara) was perfectly placed to be able to walk around the area’s many buildings and monuments.

 

The most beautiful building is the Guadalajara Cathedral. Stunning on the outside and an amazing blend of white and gold on the inside. There was a service going on while I visited so it didn’t feel appropriate to take photos.

This beautiful plaza was built in 1952. It’s known as the “Plaza de las Dos Copas” (Plaza of the Two Glasses) because of the two fountains which feature at each end of the plaza. The plaza sits behind the Cathedral.
This 4 meter high bronze sculpture is of Miguel Hidalgo holding a broken chain and sits on one side of the Plaza de las Dos Copas. The monument commemorates the abolition of slavery, which Hidalgo decreed on 6 December 1810.

Around the plaza are many (many!) places to get your shoes shined. I think that the people of Guadalajara must have the shiniest shoes.

 

This monument is part of the Cruz de Plazas. It was designed by Vicente Mendiola to honor the contributions of some of Jalisco’s (a state of Mexico) most notable figures to the field of art, science and charity.

 

It’s also home to some sleepy cats. Can you see them?

Teatro Degollado sits at the far end of the plaza. It’s another beautiful example of architecture.

 

 

The Cabanas Cultural Institute was built in the 19th century to shelter orphans and homeless people. It’s neoclassical architecture, by Manuel Tolsa, features 23 courtyards and 106 rooms.

 

The square in front of the Cabanas Cultural Institute has some interesting pieces of art. They were created by Alejandro Colunga – “Sala de los Magos” (Magicians Living Room) and “Los Magos Universales” (Universal Magicians)

 

Within the walls of the Cabanas Cultural Institute are many stunning sculptures. I spent a happy couple of hours strolling around

 

In the early 20th century, Jose Clemente Orozco painted a number of murals on the interior walls of the main chapel. The most famous is “El Hombre de Fuego” (Man of Fire).

 

 

 

A favourite café of mine in Guadalajara was Chai. Great smoothies (served in huge coffee mugs) and food and friendly staff. In the distance you can see a rack of bikes – these are available for hire all over the city. You pick up in one spot and drop them off in a different spot when you’ve finished your adventures. Brilliant!

 

 

If you visit I’d recommend staying in the historic center (Guadalajara).

 

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