City & Municipality
View of Zacatecas
Zacatecas (Spanish pronunciation:
The first people to populate the area arrived approximately 10,000 years ago, when the climate was wetter and warmer, with different vegetation and wildlife. Eventually, the area came to be dominated by
The Spanish came to the Zacatecas area via
A military mining camp was formally established in 1548 and called Minas de Nuestra Señora de Remedios. The first major vein of silver was found in 1548 in a mine called San Bernabé. This was followed by similar finds in mines called Albarrada de San Benito, Vetagrande, Pánuco and others. This brought a large number of people to Zacatecas, including craftsmen, merchants, clerics and adventurers. In 1550, royalty found its way to Zacatecas in the person of
Zacatecas was one of the richest states in Mexico. One of the most important mines from the colonial period is the El Edén mine. It began operations in 1586 in the Cerro de la Bufa. It principally produced gold and silver with most of its production occurring in the 17th and 18th centuries. Today, the opening of this mine is within the city limits and was closed to mining in 1960. It was reopened as a tourist attraction in 1975.
By the end of the 16th century, the city was the second most important, after Mexico City, and the income its mines produced for the Spanish Crown made it one of the most powerful in Europe. Its importance was not only due to mining. Most of the monastic orders in New Spain eventually established monasteries, making Zacatecas an important center for evangelization. The
Over the rest of the colonial period, the riches from the ground financed the building important religious and secular constructions. The peak of this construction occurred in the 18th century. One of these constructions is the Colegio de San Luis Gonzaga, which was established in 1796.
Mexican War of Independence
In the mid-1820s, institutions such as the first opera house, first teachers’ college, the state treasury, the state supreme court and other institutions were founded in the city when the first state constitution was signed. The first newspaper in the state started circulation herein 1825. The municipality was established in 1825.
From the end of the War of Independence until nearly the end of the 19th century, liberals or federalists and conservatives, who favored centralized rule from Mexico City, battled for control of Zacatecas. In 1835, then-liberal
During the Mexican Revolution, Zacatecas was the scene of the Battle of Zacatecas in 1914, pitting the rebel forces of Francisco Villa against the government forces of
Taking the city would clear the way for Villa to proceed to Mexico City. Villa's forces were under the direct command of General Felipe Ángeles, and Huerta forces were under the command of General Luis Medina Barrón. From the 19th to the 23rd, General Medina used a light beacon brought from the port city of Veracruz to light the hills at night looking for rebel positions. The battle began at 10:00 a.m. on the 23rd with rebel cannon fire. Over 22,000 rebel troops then approached the city from four directions, from the mountains known as Bufo, La Sierpe, Loreto and La Tierra Negra. The battle continued until about 5:00 that afternoon, when Huerta troops began to abandon their positions, and the División del Norte took the strategic hills of Bufo and El Grillo, entering the city. The rebels sacked the city and destroyed a number of buildings. Battle casualties were about 5,000 for Huerta's troops and about 3,000 for the rebels. After the Mexican Revolution, the city of Zacatecas decided to revive the original seal granted to it by Philip II, and make it the seal of both the city and the state. It had been discarded after the War of Independence. The "Marcha Aréchiga" or "Marcha Zacatecas" written by Genaro Codina in the early 20th century, became the semi official anthem of the city and state.
The anniversary of the city had been celebrated on the day of the Virgin of Zapopan, who was the patron until 1975. Since then the patron has been changed to the Virgin del Patrocinio, who is celebrated on the same day,.
The city center was named a World Heritage Site in 1993.
Zacatecas has had a number of earthquakes since the colonial period. The last occurred in 1995 and caused minor damage.
In 2009, the city council approved the logotype of the new administration with includes the Virgin of Zacatecas image. However, since then it has been claimed that the new logo violates Article 5 of the Zacatecas constitution and Article 10 of a law called Bando de Policía y Buen Gobierno. Another objection is that the new seal contains the colors yellow and black, those of the political party of the municipal president The city has grown to the point where houses now balance on the edge of a creek and over the mounds of waste from mines. This is possible due the lack of regulation and urban planning by authorities. Irregularities exist in 85% of the city's neighborhoods but the neighborhoods of Lázaro Cárdenas, Minera, CNOP, Lomas de la Pimienta, Benito Juárez, González Ortega have the largest number of them. Many of these buildings have structural and infrastructure problems such as flooding during rains and the damage this creates.