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Lions Trip to Zacatecas

By Janice Page

The San Miguel de Allende Lions Club hosts another wonderful three-day trip to Zacatecas, stopping in Aguascalientes on the return.

Lions Club Trip to Zacatecas
Wed, Oct 22-Fri, Oct 24
1,700 pesos/2,400 pesos

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. The city`s population is approximately 745,000.

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 that 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 the 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 a 17th-century bullring and recently was named one of the top 12 hotels in the world.

The cathedral of Zacatecas was built between 1729 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 Aguascalientes in western central Mexico. It stands on the banks of the Río 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 that 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, October 22, 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 October 7 at Actinver (previously Lloyds) on calle San Francisco between 10am and 12pm.

Shopping Trip to León: The Lions are planning a shopping trip to León, Guanajuato on October 1. A first class bus will leave from in front of St. Paul’s Church on Cardo at 9am and return to San Miguel at 6pm. The group will have lunch at a very fine restaurant within walking distance. Many bargains on leather goods are available. We will plan to visit outlet stores as well. The cost is 400 pesos (or US$33) based on 30 participants. This does not include lunch. For more information or for reservations, please contact Jean Schickel at 152-0934.


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