Jerez de García Salinas

Looking toward the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Solitude
Coat of arms of Jerez de García Salinas
Jerez (Spanish About this sound  ) is a town and municipality in the Mexican state of Zacatecas. To distinguish the two, the town, is officially called Jerez de García Salinas to honor an 18th-century reformer. The town of Jerez is the local government of 128 other communities, a rural area noted for its production of fruit trees and dairy. The town was named a Pueblo Mágico to attract tourism, as it lies close the state capital of Zacatecas and offers handcrafts, traditional food and architecture.

The town of Jerez is fifty seven km from the state capital of Zacatecas, located in a deep valley surrounded by forests and fruit orchards. The architecture and layout are distinct from the state capital. The town is centered on a main square called Jardín Rafel Páez, which was the site of the old traditional market. It is surrounded by a wrought iron fence and in the center there is a Moorish style kiosk made of metal with a sandstone base. It is a popular place on Sundays for men playing dominoes and for bands playing a local music called tamborazo, a type of band music with a distinctive rhythm. On the south side of the square is the Portal Humboldt, which has two different types of arches, one in Romance style and the other in Arabic. To the north is the Portal Inguanzo, which dates from 1797. It is the exterior of what was a private home. Today the building houses a café-ice cream shop.

The Palacio Municipal (Municipal Palace) or town government building is in a former two-story mansion which was built between 1730 and 1745. The building has a Baroque facade done in sandstone. It was remodeled in the last decades of the 20th century but its original facade was meticulously preserved. Inside, there is a central courtyard surrounded by arches with two stairwells to connect the floors. The main one is on the east side and the south one has a portrait of Francisco García Salinas.

The Sanctuary of Nuestra Señora de la Soledad (Our Lady of Solitude) dates from 1805, built over what was a hospital for the indigenous. It is said that its designer was inspired by the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela. The style is Neoclassic although it has various Baroque elements such as the main atrium gate. The interior is dominated by the main altar which houses the image of the Virgin Mary after the death of Jesus. There are also finely sculpted confession booths and pulpit. This Virgin is a local icon, who was named a “General” by troops during the Mexican Revolution and is celebrated each year from January to February.

The Edificio de la Torre (Tower Building) was construction on the site Pantaleón de la Torre donated to promote education and culture in the municipality in 1894 as a school for girls. The architectural style is a mix of Romance and Moorish built by stonemason Dámaso Muñeton, who also did the north tower of the Zacatecas Cathedral. Today the building houses the Jerez Cultural Center and the municipal library. An alley dedicated to local handcrafts is located alongside the Edificio de la Torre. These include boots, wide cowboy hats and embroidered leather belts (piteado).

Behind the Sanctuary of Nuestra Señora de la Soledad is the Jardín Hidalgo, which is in front of the Hinojosa Theater. The Theater is in Moorish style with arches, windows and railings in groups of three and five, built between 1876 and 1890, promoted by local politician José María Hinojosa. Its stage is under a sandstone arch and its seats are carved from wood. For most of its history, the lighting was provided by carbide lamps, and a large mirror in the back remains from that time. It is said that the building served as a barracks during the Mexican Revolution. Today it is used for live performances but in the past it was a movie theatre, a hall for social events, a library and a public school. On the side of the building, there is a Community Museum with items such as carpentry tools, archeological pieces, sewing machines and more from the area’s past.

This page was last edited on 1 February 2018, at 17:53.
Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerez,_Zacatecas under CC BY-SA license.

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