In July 2013, I visited the Mexican city of Zacatecas with my wife. While there, we took a day trip to the city of Jerez De García Salinas. Jerez is one of Mexico’s Pueblos Magicos — towns highlighted by the Mexican Department of Tourism for having magical natural, cultural, or historical significance. To get to Jerez, we took a cab to the very modern, nice, bus station in Zacatecas. Once there, I purchased tickets from Omnibus de Mexico for their next bus to Jerez. The ticket cost 50 pesos each way (~$4 US). This bus was a nice, first class bus that was going on to Guadalajara. The time from Zacatecas to Jerez was only about 50 minutes.
Once we arrived in Jerez, we took a cab to the downtown. I instructed the cab driver to leave us at the Santuario Soledad, a large church which I could tell from my map was right downtown. Prior to the trip, I had tried to find a tourist map of Jerez without much luck. I had resorted to printing off a few Google maps, and highlighting places of interest on them. I usually look at satellite photos and try and find churches and parks, which are easy to spot from above. Knowing where these landmarks are helped to orient me. I had also noticed a large cemetery to check out.
The Santuario de Nuestra Senora de Soledad is a beautiful church. Construction began in 1805, and the church was dedicated in 1818. It is one of two very nice churches in Jerez. Behind it is a very nice park, the Jardin Hidalgo. After spending some time photographing the church, we then walked just a couple of blocks to the east, where we saw the Parroquia de la Inmaculada.
The Parroquia de la Inmaculada was constructed from 1727-1754. While I didn’t find the outside as interesting as the Soledad church, the interior was clearly superior. It featured many gilded columns, and some large murals. The Parroquia faced a small plaza, which had orange trees and places to sit. The church has a somewhat off kilter appearance, with only one tower. Perhaps they intended to build the second one and never got around to it (this is somewhat common).
After visiting the two churches, we took some time out for a bite to eat. We had a nice meal of eggs, beans, and chilaquiles at the El Tarro Cafe, which sat on the main square, Jardin Rafael Paez. The waiter was kind enough give us a map of the town, which illustrates one point about Jerez: everyone was ridiculously friendly there. I’ve been to a few Pueblos Magicos in the past where people would barely give you the time of day. Jerez was quite different, being very friendly and welcoming to tourists. After lunch, we headed to the cemetery.
After the cemetery, we then walked back to the main square area, for some shopping and more sight seeing.
On one end of the main square stands the Presidencia Municipal. This is your typical municipal building, dating from the 18th century, but renovated in the 20th century. We were able to walk in and enjoy the courtyard and views. There were also some nice murals in the staircases headed to the second floor. We had hoped to get a view of the garden across the street, but the offices facing that way were not open to the public.
I also walked to the city theater, the Teatro Hinojosa. Dating from 1867, the theater didn’t look like much from the outside. A man was doing some light cleaning in the lobby, and he took me inside the theater. Before I knew it, he was turning on all the lights, including the chandelier, and taking me up on stage to get the best view (did I mention the people here were extremely friendly?) I was able to get some nice pictures, and really enjoyed the ad-hoc tour that I was given.
I’m attaching some other photos from Jerez, mostly of street scenes and a few other landmark buildings. I found this to be a delightful place, and ended up wishing we had more time to spend there. I would certainly recommend anyone in the area stop by and enjoy Jerez! Please click the photos for larger images.