May 2, 2015

1557 MEXICO (Zacatecas) - Historic Centre of Zacatecas (UNESCO WHS)

1557 The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption
of Zacatecas

Located in the north-central Mexico, between the Bufa and Grillo hills, Zacatecas was founded in 1546 after the discovery of a rich silver lode, reaching the height of its prosperity in the 16th and 17th centuries, when became one of the most important cities in New Spain. Built at the foot of the Cerro de la Bufa, in which was one of the greatest silver mines in the world, it followed the old Indian neighborhoods with narrow streets and alleys squeezed into a large ravine or cañada. The city is called "con rostro de cantera rosa y corazón de plata" (face of pink stone and heart of silver) because of the pink stone that many of its iconic buildings are made of and the silver that has spurred its development and history.

The city was not only a major centre of silver production, but also of colonization, evangelization and cultural expansion. The townscape of the ancient centre is moulded to the topography of the steep valley in which it is situated and is of outstanding beauty. The Historic Centre of Zacatecas has almost completely preserved of the urban design in the 16th century, taken as a basis for further development in the 18th and 19th centuries. Important secular buildings include the 18th-century Mala Noche Palace, the Calderón Theatre of 1834, the iron-framed Gonzalez Market of 1886, and the pink stone Governor's Residence. The historic area comprises also 15 religious complexes, among them the convents of San Juan de Dios, San Francisco, San Augustín and Santo Domingo, and the cathedral.

In the city proper just south of the main plaza, is The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption of Zacatecas, which is located over the ruins of pre-Hispanic temples. The current structure dates from 1752, has a façade of sculpted pink stone, and is considered to be one of the best examples of Mexican Churrigueresque architecture. It is attributed to Domingo Ximenez Hernandez and is a testament to the wealth that the city had in the 18th century. The dome was rebuilt in 1848 and the south tower was completed in 1904, by Damaso Muñeton. The Cathedral is 85m high, has three naves with three main portals, and the main façade has three levels supported by three Solomonic columns with flank niches. The market side portal is Baroque and is dedicated to the Virgen del Patrocinio, patron of the city.

About the stamps

The first stamp, designed by Helder Soares, was issued on June 6, 2014 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the beginning of official diplomatic relations between Portugal and Mexico.

About the second stamp I don't know anything.

Zacatecas, Zacatecas - Wikipedia
Zacatecas Cathedral - Wikipedia
Historic Centre of Zacatecas - UNESCO official website

Sender: G. Alonso Jimènez (direct swap)
Sent from San Miguel el Alto (Jalisco / Mexico), on 19.09.2014
Photo: Jorge Heredia R.

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