Pachuca de Soto Tourist Attractions
How to get thereFrom Mexico City by rail about 2.5 hours; by bus about 1.5 hours; by car 86km/53mi on the MEX 85.Pachuca, the capital of the state of Hidalgo, is surrounded on three sides by mountains and forms the centre of one of Mexico's oldest and richest mining areas.
The town, with its steep, crooked alleyways, small squares and beige-painted houses, does not offer many sights. However, the surrounding area enjoys richly varied scenery and towns and villages with interesting early colonial art.HistoryThe Aztecs are supposed to have founded the settlement of Patlachiucán in about 1490 to mine for the gold and silver located here just below the earth's surface. Pachuca (Náhuatl: "Pachoa"= narrow place") was established in 1527 by the Spanish conquistador Francisco Téllez. Its first upswing occurred in 1555 when Bartolomé de Medina devised the process of amalgamation, that is separating metals from ores by treating them with mercury. In the mid-18th c. new developments, mainly through the enterprise of Pedro Romero de Terreros, later the Count of Regla, took ore exploitation to a new high point. The considerable number of colonial buildings in the town were also constructed at this time, mainly with his assistance. In 1869 Pachuca became the capital of the Mexican state of Hidalgo.
Built in 1670, the fortress-like former treasury Las Cajas in C. Venustiano Carranza 106 is one of the town's most historically-important buildings. The Quinto Real (the King's Fifth), a royal tribute of one fifth of all mineral resources mined in the region given to the Spanish king, was stored here.
The former Franciscan convent, part of an enormous complex, was built at the end of the 16th c. and was renovated and extended several times. The legendary Count of Regla was buried in the church in 1781. An 18th c. impressive Churrigueresque altar forms the centre of the Capilla de la Luz.
Opening hours: 10am-1pm; Sun: 10am-12pm
The convent area also houses the Centro Cultural Hidalgo, the Museum of History (Museo Histórico Regional; archaeological and ethnological collections from the cultures of the Huastecs, Chichimecs, Toltecs, Aztecs and from Teotihuacán, as well as military and religious objects), and the unique Photography Museum (Museo de Fotografia). This museum contains the famous Casasola Collection, with photographs from the late 19th to early 20th c. and, in particular, some portraying the Mexican Revolution. Particular mention should be made of some masterpieces by such star photographers as Hugo Brehme, Tina Modotti, Charles B. Waite, Edward Weston and Guillermo Kahlo, etc.
Opening hours: 10am-6pm; Closed: Mon
Always closed on: New Year's Day (Jan 1), Mexican Constitution Day (Día de la Constititución) (Feb 5), Mexico - Benito Juárez Birthday (Mar 21), Mexico - Battle of Pueblo Day (May 5), Mexico National Day (Sep 1), Mexican Independence Day (Sep 16), Mexican Revolution Day (Nov 20), Feast of the Virgin of Guadalupe (Dec 12), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25)
Torre de Reloj
The Torre de Reloj is a 40 m (131 ft)-tall clock-tower with niches containing four sculptures representing freedom, independence, reform and the republic. The carillon was imported from Austria.Other noteworthy buildings are Las Casas Coloradas, dating from the end of the 18th c. and now a law court, and the 20th c. Teatro Elfrén Rebolledo.
The village of Venta Prieta lies south of the town near the MEX 85. Some of its population, descendants of Spanish Jews and Mexican Indians, form a strict Jewish community. Persecution drove them here from Michoacán at the end of the 19th c.
Mineral del Monte
The important old silver town Mineral del Monte lies within wooded mountains approximately 12km/7.5mi east of Pachuca. Formerly Real del Monte, it was one of the world's richest mines.
Mineral del Chico
Picturesque Mineral del Chico, 25km/16mi to the north and reached by way of El Chico National Park, is another important mining centre.
Huasca is a small village northwest of Pachuca with a population of approximately 15,000. There are haciendas in the area which were owned by the first Count of Regla, Pedro Romero de Terreros.
Basalt Prisms of Santa María Regla
One of only three gorges in the world that produces basalt the gorge is 50 m (164 ft) deep. There are waterfalls at both ends.
Ex Hacienda de San Miguel Regla
Ex Hacienda de Santa María Regla
This was the first hacienda built by Pedro Romero de Terreros to process metal.
Tepeapulco - Ex Convento de San Francisco
Within this 16th c. church is where artist Fray Bernardino de Sahagún started Historia de las Cosas de la Nueva España (History of Events in New Spain).