"AGUASCALIENTES - FORMED WITH A KISS" Aguascalientes by mtncorg
Aguascalientes Travel Guide: 29 reviews and 104 photos
The former president/dictator of Mexico, Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, does not get a lot of good press. From 1833 to 1855, the presidential chair changed hands 36 times - 11 times going to Santa Anna. He would engineer a coup, take over for a very short while and retire to his hacienda in Veracruz State with a little more wealth and await his next 'call'. He had gotten his feet wet as early as 1823 when he lead an army in deposing the Emperor Augustin Iturbide - the ex-royalist general who had ended the decade-long Wars of Independence in 1821. During Santa Anna's years - and beyond - Mexico was tragically split between conservative and liberal factions resulting in the chaos that was 19th century Mexico before the dawn of the Porfiato. Santa Anna is known for his resiliency, able to overcome humiliating defeats at San Jacinto in the Texan Rebellion and later in the Mexican-American War of 1845-1848. His final undoing was to arrange the Gadsen Purchase where he sold off more Mexican lands to the US - much of what is now southern Arizona and New Mexico - to go along with the vast lands lost in 1848.
For all the twists and turns in his career, he was beloved in Mexico for the most part until the defeats of 1847. Fortune always seemed to smile on him and his nature was to throw caution to the wind in the true style of the gambler. He was the 'Man of Destiny', the 'Napoleon of the West'. At one time or another, every Mexican could be counted as a supporter.
Now we come to Aguascalientes, today a bustling commercial city to which many business firm relocated to from Mexico City after the horrific earthquakes of 1985. The city boasts about 750000 people - the is a huge Nissan plant south of town where all Sentras for North America are made. Founded in 1575 as a garrison town to protect silver convoys moving from Zacatecas to the North and Mexico City to the east, the town was named for nearby hot springs in which one can still bathe today. The small state which surrounds the City - same name - is Mexico's second smallest - only Tlaxcala is smaller. On a visit to Aguascalientes, Santa Anna was enamoured of a certain local politician's wife and in return for a kiss, he promised her whatever she desired. She planted a big one on the 'National Hero' and in return, Santa Anna created the new State of Aguascalientes, carving it out of Zacatecas State, as per the lady's request.
Aguascalientes has always been an important transit center - whether for the silver caravans or for the burgeoning rail... more travel advice
Dating back to 1665, the Palacio is located on the south side of the Plaza. Originally built as a house, today serving... more travel advice
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