Victoria de Durango

Travel Guide North America Mexico Durango Victoria de Durango

edit

Introduction

Durango, officially Victoria de Durango and also known as Ciudad de Durango, is the capital and largest city of the Mexican state of Durango. It stands at an altitude of 1,890 metres. The city was founded on July 8, 1563, by the Spanish Basque explorer Francisco de Ibarra. During the Spanish colonial era the city was the capital of the Nueva Vizcaya province of New Spain, which consisted mostly of the present-day states of Durango and Chihuahua. In 2014, the city had a population of 565,300, up from 518,709 in 2010. It is the municipal seat of Durango Municipality which had a population of 654,876 in 2015 and includes outlying communities such as El Nayar, Cinco de Mayo, La Ferreria, and Colonia Hidalgo.

Top

edit

Neighbourhoods

  • Analco is one of the most traditional neighbourhoods in the city. It is centered on its parish dedicated to John the Baptist and originally a mission. The current building was constructed in the 18th century. The altar and towers were created by Benigno Montoya in 1908. The original bridge that connects the neighborhood with the Paseo de las Alamedas was constructed in 1795, but it was more recently reconstruction as a pedestrian walkway.
  • Cienéga. This neighbourhood proudly displays the Cuauhtemoc Monument and also features 3 of the finest hospitals in the city.
  • Vista Hermosa del Guadiana is a pleasant residential neighbourhood bordering the biggest park in the city - Parque Guadiana.

Top

edit

Sights and Activities

  • Cathedral Basilica of Durango was founded as the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception in the early colonial period. It became the cathedral in 1621, but the building burned shortly thereafter in 1634. It was rebuilt in the middle of the 18th century at the height of the city's mining prosperity, but only a quarter of the construction from that period remains. The church remains dedicated to the Immaculate Conception, which is depicted on the main altar. It also contains Byzantine vaults and a cupola with paintings of angels. Underneath the cathedral runs the Mining Tunnel, also known as the Cathedral Tunnel. It was a mining shaft which also doubled as a secret passage. Today it is a museum.
  • Plaza de Armas faces the cathedral and serves as the city's main public square; it was established with the official founding of the city. The center contains a kiosk made from pink sandstone. The kiosk contains a shop dedicated to selling handicrafts made by students of the School of Painting, Sculpture and Crafts.
  • Mercado Gomez Palacio is the oldest market in the city, which dates back to over 200 years and continues to sell the typical green produce as well as candles, typical clothing, sombreros, keys, hardware, flowers, jewelry, and bicycle-repair-services.
  • Guadalupe Sanctuary is located northwest of the historic center. It was constructed between 1653 and 1658 by Bishop Barrientos Lomelín originally as a guest house.
  • The Regional Museum of Durango is located in the El Aguacate Building located on the corner of Victoria and Aquiles Serdán. This structure was built in French style which was popular at the end of the 19th century. The building originally was the residence of Francisco Gómez Palacio, who was governor of the state in 1880. It is in French style and has a garden with an avocado tree, which gives the building its nickname. The museum has twelve halls related to the history of the state as well as it natural resources. The permanent collection consists of over 1,000 objects that date from the first cultures of Durango to those from modern times.
  • Remedios Church (Templo de los Remedios) is found on a hill of the same name overlooking the city from the west. It was built in 1640 and is one of the oldest churches in the state.
  • The State Government Palace is located in the former residence built by captain and miner Juan José Zambrano between 1790 and 1800. It acquired this function after the War of Independence. The original interior is Baroque, but it also contains more recent murals related to Mexico's Independence and the state's history, especially in the main stairwell. More recent remodeling in 2010 saw the installation of the Francisco Villa Museum (a native of Durango). It was opened in part in homage to those who abandon their hometowns to migrate elsewhere, with a mural on this topic.
  • Founders’ Plaza (Plaza de los Fundadores) is located near the State Government Palace and next to the former Jesuit College. It marks the place where the city was officially founded, with a sculpted mural depicting the event. It also contains a Mirror Monument and a fountain where children play on hot days. The old Jesuit College is now the Central Building of the Universidad Juárez de Durango. The building was constructed in the 18th century, but the order was expelled from Mexico not long after. Since then it had several uses before becoming the university.
  • Victoria Theater was built between 1798 and 1800 and is the oldest theatre in the north of Mexico. It was originally built as part the Zambrano residence as the owner's personal theater with the name of the Coliseo Theater. It inaugurated in 1800 with a play by Euripides. Later it was renamed the Main Theater (Teatro Principal). In 1908, it was bought by Jesús Ávila who reconstructed it in 1909 adding ironwork, boxes and the four levels it now has.
  • The City Museum (Museo de la Ciudad) was only until recently the municipal government building. The structure was built in the 19th century, but contains many elements from the architecture of the previous century. It originally was called the Escárzaga Palace, the residence of mine owner Pedro Escárzaga Corral. The building is of lime and sandstone on the exterior walls with the interior paved with adobe and stone. The current tile floors are a recent addition. The roof is of reinforced concrete, which replaced the previous one made of packed earth and wood beams.
  • Guadiana Park is the main green area of the city and contains the Teatro del Pueblo. Guadiana Park contains sports facilities such as running and cycling tracks. It has fountains, the Auditorio del Pueblo and a mural by Manual Salas Ceniceros Next to this park is the Sahuatoba Park and Zoo which contains a shell stage constructed in the 1980s. It contains a “miniature” version of the Baluarte suspension bridge, part of the highway that links the city with Mazatlan. The Paseo de Alamedas lines part of the southern edge of the city historic center, in part separating it from the Analco neighborhood. The park is lined with willows and poplars along with sculptures and areas for temporary exhibitions.

Top

edit

Events and Festivals

Day of the Dead

Although the Day of the Dead is also celebrated in many Latin American countries except Mexico (and also in parts of Europe, Asia and Africa), the Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de los Muertos) is most intensily celebrated in Mexico where it is equal to a National Holiday. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. The celebration takes place on November 1st and 2nd, in connection with the Catholic holidays of All Saints' Day (November 1) and All Souls' Day (November 2). Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts. Although it is about the Dead, it is also a celebration where eating and partying both are common as well.

Other Events and Festivals

Grito de la Independencia - September 15th is Mexican Independence Day! A massive celebration involving plenty of singing, dancing and fireworks takes place in the Zócalo. Everyone here awaits an appearance from Mexico's president who rings a bell from a central balcony of the Palacio Nacional overlooking the Zócalo. The president then shouts out the Grito de Dolores, or the Cry of Dolores which was Father Hidalgo's famous call to arms against Spanish rule in 1810.

  • Dia de la Candelaria. Candlemas is held February 2nd and commemorates Jesus being introduced into the temple 40 days after his birth. This nationwide celebration sees many different ways of celebrating and many towns hold processions, bullfights and dances. Of course, plenty of delicious, traditional foods are served during Dia de la Candelaria as well.
  • Carnaval is held in late February or early March throughout all of Mexico. This big party is meant to celebrate the 40 day penance of Lent. Carnaval always takes place during the week or so prior to Ash Wednesday, 46 days before Easter Sunday. Mexicans celebrate this holiday with fireworks, food, dancing, parades, dancing and drinking.
  • Semana Santa, or Holy Week, is a huge celebration which starts on Palm Sunday. This is a very popular time for Mexicans to take a short break; as a result, it seems most of the country is on the move, with buses and hotels often booked out. As for the celebration of Semana Santa, expect colorful processions and many masses at churches everywhere.
  • Día de Nuestra Seňora de Guadalupe, or Day of our Lady of Guadalupe, is held December 12th. There is a week-long build up to this religious celebration in honour of the Virgin who appeared to the indigenous Juan Diego in the year 1531. Since then, the Lady of Guadalupe has been Mexico's religious patron and her veneration is very significant. It is traditional for young boys to be dressed as a Juan Diego and for young girls to be dressed in indigenous garb and brought to a special mass, held at many churches throughout the country.

Top

edit

Weather

The city of Durango has a semi-arid climate, classified as BSk in the Köppen climate classification system. The climate is temperate in the western portion (the mountainous region), with the average annual temperature being 15 °C and an average annual rainfall of 1,600 mm. In the eastern region, the average annual temperature is 19 °C and precipitation amounts to 500 mm.

Winters are mild, with an average daytime high of 20.5 °C in January, the coldest month. As a result of the high altitude and aridity during the winter months, the diurnal temperature range is large, resulting in cold nights (an average low of 1.3 °C in January). Frosts are common in winter. Occasionally, temperatures can go above 30 °C while cold fronts from the north can push temperatures below -5 °C. During the winter months, the climate is dominated by the subtropical ridge, resulting in dry conditions (averaging only 45%) and many days are clear and sunny, averaging around 10-14 clear days. Precipitation is rare, with March being the driest month.

Summers are warm to hot with June being the hottest month, with an average high of 30 °C and a low of 14 °C. Most of the precipitation falls during the summer months, when the monsoon moves northward, causing moist air from the Gulf of California and Gulf of Mexico to move into the area, leading to many days with precipitation. Generally, this usually occurs around in mid-June. Afternoon storms are common in the summer and they can be accompanied with hail or thunderstorms. July and August have warm temperatures, averaging 28 °C though slightly cooler due to the presence of the rain. Humidity tends to be higher during the summer months, averaging 60% from June to September.

The months of March–April and from October to November are transitional months with warm temperatures during the day and cool temperatures during the night with occasional precipitation.

On average, Durango receives 529 mm of precipitation per year and there are 59 days with measureable precipitation. The wettest month recorded was August 1973 with 277.2 mm and the record rainfall for a single day is 108.5 mm on September 15, 1994. The city's weather data for the years 1911 to 2010 are the following; the extreme temperatures are -12 °C on January 15, 1951 and 39.5 °C on May 28, 1980. On average, Durango receives 2661 hours of sunshine per year, ranging from a low of 173 hours (or 5.6 hours of sunshine per day) in December to a high of 265 hours in May (8.5 hours of sunshine per day).

Top

edit

Getting There

By Plane

General Guadalupe Victoria International Airport (IATA: DGO, ICAO: MMDO), also known as Durango International Airport, is located northeast of the city of Victorai de Durango. It is named after Guadalupe Victoria, the first President of Mexico. The airport handles flights from Mexico City, Chihuahua, Ciudad Juarez, Guadalajara, Monterrey, Santiago de Queretaro, Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles.

By Car

Several Mexican Federal Highways enter into the city of Durango; Highway 40 from the west, coming from Mazatlan and from Torreón to the east; Highway 45 from the north, coming from Parral and Highway 23 south west from the state of Nayarit.

By Bus

Many buses to the city of Durango come from many destinations throughout Mexico. First class routes come in from Mexico City, Chihuahua, Mazatlán, Torreon, Monterrey, and Hidalgo del Parral. Second class routes also come from these destinations as well as from countless other towns within the states of Durango, Nayarit, Sinaloa, Chihuahua and Zacatecas.

Top

edit

Getting Around

By Public Transport

Intra-city buses ply nearly every main street in the city and are cheap; expect to pay a few pesos for any route. Major points along the way of each route - markets, plazas, malls, hospitals and so on - will be displayed in the front window of the bus. Most people wait for their bus at designated stops but it is often possible to flag down a bus anywhere.

Top

edit

Eat

  • Pescados y Mariscos El Abuelo, Mascareñas Ote 419, Zona Centro, ☎ +52 618 812 2283. The usual range of good value, tasty seafood dishes are found here, made even better if washed down with an icy cold Pacifico beer.
  • Tacos Lalo, Laureano Roncal 614, Zona Centro, ☎ +52 8136773. Several types of grilled meat tacos are served here along with homemade salsa. As is typical of northern states, tacos here are served by default on flour tortillas instead of corn tortillas.
  • Rock&burger, Calle Negrete 406, Zona Centro, ☎ +52 618 810 4405. A hip, central hangout serving, you guessed it, grilled burgers. Also serving chicken wings, onion rings and frozen drinks.
  • Fonda de la Tía Chona, Calle Nogal 110, Barrio del Calvario, ☎ +52 618 811 7748. A warm and cozy feel is evident here, with plenty of antiques, terracotta tiles and artwork throughout. The menu is all about thoughtfully prepared Mexican food.
  • Rosticería Nápoles, Av 20 de Noviembre 807A, Zona Centro, ☎ +52 618 144 7439. Fried and roasted chicken, french fries, salads and fresh juice drinks.
  • Restaurante Pampas Restaurante Do Brasil Durango, Calle Constitución 102, Centro, ☎ +52 618 827 6121. Grilled meats on skewers are carried around by waiters and cut directly onto your waiting plate. Even chicken hearts are grilled and served to patrons.

Top

edit

Drink

  • Bar La Chiquita, Francisco I. Madero 417, Zona Centro, ☎ +52 618 156 1385. A mixed crowd comes here for cold beer and good botanas.
  • Bar el Parral, Calle Patoni 358, Zona Centro. A true Mexican cantina, meaning loud Banda music, plastic tables and chairs and only simple botanas.
  • Sunset Bar Durango, Calle Aquiles Serdan 502, Zona Centro, ☎ +52 618 144 3715. Plenty of loud music from the DJ keeps the crowd moving all night.

Top

edit

Sleep

  • Grand Colonial, Calle Francisco Zarco 212 Sur, Zona Centro, ☎ +52 618 825 4667. Despite the name, this 3-star hotel in the center offers bright rooms that are a good value.
  • Hotel Gallo, Calle 5 de Febrero 117, Zona Centro, ☎ +52 618 811 5290. A true budget hotel, complete with a central location and grotty rooms. This is the cheapest sleep in town, but quiet enough.
  • Hotel Ana Isabel, Avenida 5 de Febrero No 219 Oriente, Zona Centro, ☎ +52 618 813 4500. An atmospheric budget hotel in an old colonial building with rooms set around a central courtyard. Rooms start at M$200.
  • Hotel Gobernador, Oriente, Av 20 de Noviembre 257, Zona Centro, ☎ +52 618 827 2500. A classy hotel with rooms featuring marble and swanky new furnishings. A swimming pool and restaurant make this a favorite with families.
  • Hotel Prince, Calle Lic. Benito Juárez 502, Zona Centro, ☎ +52 618 811 9258. Vintage doors and fixtures mean this central budget hotel is a good value. The showers have blasting hot water, too.

Top

edit

Keep Connected

Internet

There are internet cafe's in most cities and towns in Mexico. Sometimes photocopy stores or photo processing stores will double as an internet cafe with a couple of computers. Look for signs reading "Acceso a Internet" or "Cibernautica" or "Cibercafe". Charges range from approx. US$1 an hour to US$3 an hour, depending on the location.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

Phone cards can be purchased anywhere in the country and are needed for the majority of public phones. To call any number outside your region you have to dial 01 then followed by the area code. If calling a cellphone from a normal phone start with with 044. If calling cellphone to cellphone just dial the 10-digit number. To make an international call dial 00 followed by the country code then the local number. To call to Mexico, also dial 00 (most of the times) followed by the national code 52.

Post

The Mexican postal service is operated by Correos de México. The post service in Mexico is pretty good although not very cheap. It is reliable regarding the sending of postcards, but it takes at least a week to send it to other countries (US/Canada), more so if you send it to Europe or Australia. For packages it is better to use international services like FedEx or UPS. If you are sending a package internationally with the Mexican postal service, take the package OPEN to the post office, they may want to inspect it. Seal it up at the post office. Post offices typically open from 8:00am to 6:00pm Monday to Friday, and 9:00am to 1:00pm Saturday. You will find post offices (Oficina de Correos) is almost any town or city in Mexico, and some are actually very pretty buildings. To buy stamps it is best to go to the post office, although you can also get them at stamp machines, located outside the post offices, at bus stations, airports and some commercial establishments.

Top

Victoria de Durango Travel Helpers

We don't currently have any Travel Helpers for Victoria de Durango

This is version 9. Last edited at 7:52 on May 2, 19 by Utrecht. 6 articles link to this page.

Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, content of this article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License