By land or sea, La Paz, Baja is not an effortless destination from the US; however, from La Paz, it is simple to fly to mainland Mexico. Thus, a jaunt to Guadalajara, Mexico’s 2nd largest city, land of tequila, mariachi and historical flair, and then beyond the city to Ajijic, on Lake Chapala, to check out a popular retirement destination (which calls for a separate blog post).
We spent the first day in Guadalajara’s Historico Centro, (Steve would love to tell you how he walked 9 miles), and the following day at Tlaquepaque, a village that has become a local arts focal point with imaginative, quirky and sometimes bizarre artistry.
Guadalajara – Centro Historico Landmarks
Cathedral de Guadalajara, built 1558-1616 in Baroque and Gothic styles, and much altered since then. Inside are many chapels and reliquaries and a curious 300 year old “Mummy Girl”, St. Inocencia. She dates from the 1700’s, stories vary about her martyrdom. Just didn’t seem right to take picture of her, although she was surrounded by visitors.
Palacia de Gobierno (Government Palace). Built 1643 – 1774. Inside, giant murals painted by José Clemente Orozco in the 1930’s noting the War of Independence and Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla–the father of Mexican independence.
Instituto Cultural Cabañas. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It served as a hospital and orphanage from 1810 into the 1900’s. It was unique for its time and one of the largest hospital complexes in America. In the 1930’s, 57 macabre murals were added by José Clemente Orozco on the walls and ceilings, showing anger at social injustice through history. The most famous is El Hombre del Fuego (The Man of Fire) in the dome.
Outside the Hospicio are a set of bizarre bronze benches that are the works of Guadalajara-born, self-taught creative genius, Alejandro Colunga.
He is a visual artist working in the Latin American tradition of surrealism and fantasy.
Frieda Kaho Mural. Frieda Kaho (1907-1954) was a painter who took on gender, class and race in social Mexico.
She is an icon for feminism.
This is a small village that once was outside the city, but has been absorbed by Guadalajara. It is a craft center with the plaza full of galleries and displays that will make your head spin.
The Village and Market
Colonial Traditions and Architecture
Galleria Sergio Bustamante – Painter, Sculptor
I’ve had a thing for Bustamante since my first glance at his work in Puerto Vallarta, years ago. He lives near here and his main gallery is in Tlaquepaque (amongst other sites.) https://www.coleccionsergiobustamante.com.mx/
What Did We Miss?
We did not have time to take The Tequila Train to Tequila, to drink tequila.