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Wonderful three-day trip to Zacatecas

By Janice Page

Zacatecas' historic center

Zacatecas has been said to be one of the most interesting cities in all of colonial Mexico. Founded in 1546 after the discovery of a rich silver lode and officially recognized in 1548, Zacatecas, the capital city of the state of Zacatecas, reached the height of its prosperity in the 16th and 17th centuries. Built on the steep slopes of a narrow valley, the town has breathtaking views and hosts many old buildings, both religious and civil. The cathedral, built between 1730 and 1760, dominates the center of the town. It is notable for its harmonious design and the Baroque profusion of its facades, where European and indigenous decorative elements are found side by side. Its population is approximately 745,000.

Lions Club Trip to Zacatecas
Wed, Feb 19–Fri, Feb 21
1,700 pesos/2,400 pesos

The city is built in a deep narrow ravine 8,050 feet above sea level, with narrow, crooked streets climbing the steep hillsides, and white flat-roofed houses. The colonial center is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and features elaborately decorated buildings, cobblestone streets and wrought-iron lanterns. The more modern outer suburbs are a mix of shanties and gated communities for the wealthy.

A few of the highlights of the trip will be the Rafael Coronel Museum, set in what was once the convent of San Francisco, founded during the vice-royalty. The museum contains hundreds of masks of animals, mermaids, devils and old men that belonged to the renowned Zacatecan painter Rafael Coronel. It also displays a collection of archaeological pieces as well as puppets from the Posete Aranda company.

The trip will also include a tour of a silver mine, the government palace, numerous other museums, and the tram which takes you over the entire city for breathtaking views.

One of the best places for lunch is the Quinta Real Hotel, which surrounds the picturesque ruins of a17th-century bullring and recently was named one of the top 12 hotels in the world.

The cathedral of Zacatecas was built between1729 and 1792 and is said to be the ultimate expression of Mexican Baroque architecture. The facade, with its exceptionally elaborate decorative work, has illustrations of Christ with the 12 apostles, four Church Fathers around the chancel window, and in the uppermost section God the Father surrounded by eight angels making music.

The city of Aguascalientes is the capital of the state of Aguascalienes in western central Mexico. It stands on the banks of the Rio Aguascalientes. The city was founded in 1575 and became the capital of the newly formed state when its territory was split off from the neighboring state of Zacatecas in 1835. The name Aguascalientes originated from the Spanish words meaning hot waters. When the city was first founded, it was given this name for its abundance of hot springs.

Space is limited and reservations are on a first-come, first-served basis. The Lions Club trips help support the eye and diabetes clinic which dispenses glasses and provides free diabetes testing to those in need in San Miguel and surrounding areas.

The first-class bus will leave Wednesday morning, February 19, and arrive in time for lunch after we check into a hotel.

The cost of 1,700 pesos per person, based on double occupancy, or 2,400 pesos, single occupancy, includes bus, hotel, breakfasts, tips and a donation to the Lions Club. A bring-your-own bottle cocktail party with snacks provided by the Lions Club will be held each evening. Reservations can be made by calling Jean Schickel at 152-0934 or Payment is due Tuesday, February 11 at Actinver (previously Lloyds) between 10am and noon.


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