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This is a very cultural city that has a good number of art galleries and theaters and boasts a great number of departments at the University Veracruzana that are dedicated to the arts. To visit Xalapa is to enjoy its pleasant weather, discover the cultural richness of the museums and galleries and learn about the history and architecture. Walk though colorful parks and steep streets and get a whiff of freshly ground coffee drifting by. Take pleasure in your surroundings and various attractions that the beautiful city of Xalapa has to offer.
Xalapa, capital of the state of Veracruz, is a quaint colonial city that is surrounded by various rivers, streams and springs, such as the Tecajetes and Xallitic. One can't mention this city without talking about its characteristic warm and humid weather and its fog and drizzle during the winters, giving it a classic mountain town feel. The streets are windy and narrow, where at each jagged turn, you can admire the phenomenal view of the majestic Citlaltepetl Volcanoes, also known as the Peak of Orizaba, and the Nauhcampatepetl, also known as the Cofre de Perote (Coffer of Perote).
It is also a city that is dedicated to the arts and culture. Filled with important art schools, you can also find cultural centers and spaces for various disciplines of art in all its expressions. Xalapa is well-equipped for promoting these kinds of events.
Due to its excellent location, this city is considered a great place to start from if you want to explore the surrounding regions. There is plenty to see and do: everything from natural landscapes to adventure and eco-tourism.
Xalapa was founded by a group of Totonaca families that lived near the Xallitic, Techacapan and Xallapam Springs. This all happened before the arrival of Hernan Cortez and his army, who was given lodgings in 1519. After 1521, Cortez did not entrust the city to anyone else due to the excellent relation he upheld with the city dwellers. He specifically set it aside for tribute to the Royal Crown.
Development in Xalapa took place slowly and didn't really start until 1720, when commerce prompted urban growth. It is an importance that is marked by Charles IV, who granted it the Title of Town on December 18, 1791. Three years later, city hall was built.
The Town of Xalapa wasn't really affected during the war of independence so it was decided that it would be the place where all the state power would be concentrated. This led the way to an economic boom which in turn, reflected in the population. On November 18, 1830, Xalapa was given the classification of City, achieving the number two spot, just behind the Port of Veracruz, in terms of important economic and social contributions in the State of Veracruz.
Industry became important as different textile factories began to rise, such as La Providencia in 1836, San Bruno (1852), La Fama (1882) and El Dique. To this day, the textile industry remains the main economic activity of the region.
Art and Culture
Xalapa is also known as the Athens of Veracruz due to its great cultural activity. Private and public institutions are continuously promoting all sorts of artistic and cultural activities in the different forums offered throughout the city.
To visit Xalapa is to experience a climate that includes beautiful parks, where you can live a cultural encounter in the many galleries, theaters and pinacothecas where you can soak up art in all its forms. Enjoy a concert by one of the most important symphonic orchestras in Mexico, the Symphonic Orchestra of Xalapa. The most important theater of the city is the Ignacio de la Llave, where prestigious dance and ballet groups of international fame come and give performances. There is also the Teatro Juan Herrera and El Agora de la Ciudad, where you can enjoy independent movies.
The city has more than 15 galleries, among which are the Galeria del Estado (the Gallery of the State), the Centro Recreativo Xalapeno (the Xalapa Recreation Center), the Ramon Alva de la Canal, the Plastic Arts Gallery and the Cultural Center Los Lagos. These sites, specifically set aside for the advancement of art and exhibit local, national and foreign artists.