A migration of Spaniards settled in the area of Aguascalientes and faced at its beginning an inhospitable environment given the geography of the place: semi-arid climate in the valleys, with acacia and mesquite trees, various cacti, stool or desert spoon plant, primrose and palm.
And as wolves, coyotes, foxes, hares, quails, and pigeons occupied those lands in the mountains of the Sierra Fria or the Sierra del Laurel, deer, mountain lions and wild boar roamed through the pines, oaks and cedars. The proximity of those settlers with the Chichimecas settlements resulted in many years of looting and confrontation, to suffering assaults and the theft of crops or livestock due to Indian hostilities towards those Europeans. The founding of Aguascalientes was due to a need for the Viceroyalty of New Galicia to keep the settlers, crops, and livestock safe from the Chichimecas or Guachichiles hostilities. It was also a priority for New Spain to maintain a route that connected the cities of Guadalajara and Zacatecas... and with the mines.
Aguascalientes was founded on October 22, 1575 as Villa de la Ascension, where stood a fort called Aguascalientes, by Captain Juan de Montoro Rodriguez and others coming from Santa María de los Lagos, one of the first towns established in the area. Today Aguascalientes is celebrating its 430th anniversary and it is celebrating big! The development of Aguascalientes was always connected with the wealth of Zacatecas initially being a point of rest and protection in the long hours between Zacatecas to Mexico City of Guadalajara.
By the second decade of the 17th Century, far from being a thoroughfare, the city became a food supplier of Zacatecas, where even many large landowners and merchants were once miners in that city before settling in Aguascalientes.
In recent years the city of Aguascalientes has become an important educational and scientific research center, notable in some areas in Latin America such as the National Institute of Statistics, Geography and Informatics (INEGI), the Autonomous University of Aguascalientes and the Technological University.
Similarly, this city has a surprising cultural diversity well worth seeing: paintings by Hernan Saturnino in Aguascalientes Museum, the Museum of Modern Art with works by Jose Luis Cuervas, Juan Soriano and Vicente Rojo, the Museum Guadalupe Posada which is putting together the work of the biggest Mexican engraver.
The Aguascalientes Theater program offering for the entire year includes the best shows of music, theater and dance: Claude Bolling, Paco de Lucia, Buenavista Social Club, Joan Manuel Serrat, the Russian Symphony Orchestra, the Vienna Boys’ Choir and many, many more. A city brimming with culture, variety, and good taste! Children learn and play in the Discover Museum, one of the best museums of science and technology in the country with great interactive exhibits and an IMAX screen. Aguascalientes is home to the Feria de San Marcos, the oldest and most famous fair in the country, held from April 10 to May 5. This international event is a popular festival with the largest cockfighting arena in Latin American and an elegant casino, unique in México.
Renowned bullfighters put their lives in the ring, pulling the emotions of the lovers of bullfights into the original and beautiful square adorned with arcades and balconies of quarry stone, the traditional costume, agricultural, livestock, and industrial exhibitions, a national poetry prize and an extensive program of the Cervantes festival. And so many more attractions like no other!
Strolling through Aguascalientes gives us the opportunity to discover the architecture of Refugio Reyes, the sobriety of the Morelos Theater, the generosity of the Plaza de Armas and the Government Palace and the new image of Arquitos.
Around the Basilica Cathedral, the Temple of Guadalupe or the Temple of San Marcos, the endearing traditional neighborhoods of la Estación, el Encino, San Marcos, and Guadalupe are the same as preserved priceless treasures of colonial architecture that narrate a part of the enigmatic history of Aguascalientes.
In the Plaza of the Three Centuries the Railway Museum, the monument of the locomotive and the Theatre Furgon; the tram passes through neighborhoods and traditional points and the cuisine! Nothing like enjoying a roasted pig, aguascalentense chile or the peasant soup, among so many recipes whose ingredients and flavors will delight and palate and accompanied by a meal with an exquisite wine from the region. Because, did you know that Aguascalientes was the second Mexican territory where they planted the vine? Later in the 1950s came the rise of the wine industry, producing table wines, brandy, and other spirits extracted from fruits which are the pride of the city.
It’s Aguascalientes! A city where the hospitality of its inhabitants is intertwined with the excitement and tradition of its holidays, history, treasures, and cultural virtues that make it a warm and unforgettable city.