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Attractions of Aguascalientes
The great state of Aguascalientes offers multiple tourist attractions for all visitors. Here are some of the most popular activities and attractions:
This ancient mining city is now known for hosting Mexico's most famous fair: Feria Nacional de San Marcos. Cockfights, concerts, art exhibits and even the National Poetry Award are part of the activities offered during this great annual event.
The fair began during the Spanish conquest to attract new markets for the region's agricultural and livestock products. At first it competed with other local fairs, but soon it stood out as the best in the country. That is when Aguascalientes decided to hold it in honor of the city's patron saint, San Marcos, providing its unique flair. Because the patron saints holiday is celebrated on the 25th of April, the fair takes place during the same month and lasts for three weeks.
To participate it is necessary to consult the annual calendar as dates change every year. Livestock, agricultural and commercial exhibits are scheduled to take place as well as other activities such as fireworks, bullfights, folk and cultural dances, music and drama shows, and the National Poetry Award ceremony, just to name a few.
El Caracol, or "The Snail" theme park is an original local tourist attraction. During the Spanish reign, one of the local mayors decided to drill what is now downtown Aguascalientes to build an underground water supply system.
The 7 meter long underground pathway is just part of the parks' attractions, for it has natural wonders that delight both young and elder visitors. The visit includes a stop in the Paleontology Laboratory which exhibits mammoth and mastodon fossils found in the surrounding areas. The Paleo-Sculptures zone displays real size reproductions of prehistoric animals that lived in the region, such as mammoths and bison.
The ticket price is very low and it includes a tour guide.The park is located only ten minutes away from downtown.
Nature lovers will enjoy the spectacular views of this canyon. Sierra Fria or Cold Sierra is a natural reserve with large pine and oak tree forests, rich in wildlife including royal eagles, pumas, white tail deer, chameleons, and ringtails. It extends throughout an area of 112,090 hectares. Mountain-biking, hiking, fishing and camping are some of the activities permitted in the reserve, and cabins for lodging are also available for rent.
Another experience for the visitor to enjoy in this warm city represents the local bullfighting arena called San Marcos Plaza de Toros, which was built in 1896 for the San Marcos Fair in just 48 days, a time record. But bullfighting doesn't only take place during the festivities, it has become a local passion. In 1974 the Monumental San Marcos Plaza de Toros was inaugurated with a capacity for 15,000 spectators.
Throughout the Aguascalientes territory, there are large and historic Haciendas or large estates, many of them built at the beginning of the Spanish conquest. It was during Porfirio Diaz's dictatorship that they increased in number and size, because during his government he established a large land estate system that made more land available. The European influence can be detected in the luxurious decor in some of their private churches. The Haciendas are considered a part of Mexico's historical legacy and some still tend to cattle and hold horse stables, but others have been transformed into museums, schools or orphanages.
The Hacienda El Chichimeco, stands out. It is only 15 minutes away from Aguascalientes, raises fine cattle and holds a Taurine museum in honor of its original owners, the Armilita dynasty.
The Hacienda Los Cuartos or "The Rooms" was built 400 years ago to raise cattle and hold horse stables. Thanks to the participation of engineer Robeto Aceves., today it houses the Los Cuartos Ecological Center, dedicated to environmental education.
JOSE GUADALUPE POSADA MUSEUM
This museum lies close to the catholic temple El Encino or "The Oak", and is dedicated to an acknowledged artist born into a family of bakers of Aguascalientes in 1852.
Jose Posada was an illustrator and painter during Porfirio Diaz's government. His artwork became famous because it criticized the people's exploitation during the Porfiriato rule. His humoristic approach brought art closer to the Mexican people and he gained more followers when he began illustrating the Mexican death poems known as Calaveras, the Spanish name for skulls. In the museum visitors find Posada's prints and illustrations, the artwork of his colleague Manuel Manilla and a library with a collection of about 5,000 books.
There are other 7 museums in the city: the Aguascalientes Museum, the Regional History Museum, the Cristiada Museum, the Contemporary Art Museum, the Science and Technology Museum, and the Taurine and Railway Museums which represent the pride of the people for these two state icons.
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