THE GREATEST CROSS IN THE WORLD
El Cristo de Chiapas ( Christ of Chiapas) is the largest in the world. Its 62 metres high far surpasses the size of others such as the Christ the Redeemer in Brazil, which is 38 meters high. Furthermore, it is located in a beautiful place, a natural area of 24 000 m2 of autochthonous vegetation that has a Via Crucis for those who want to climb it up.
The panoramic views from this place are incredible, and certainly the best to contemplate the entire city at your feet. There is also a cafeteria, a chapel, a mausoleum, a shop and restrooms.
The construction of this huge Christ is quite recent. It was built between 2 009 and 2 011. The idea of this monumental cross was conceived by the Diocese of Tuxtla´s Bishop, Monsignor Felipe Aguirre Franco, in 1 997. The originally designated emplacement was Cerro Mactumatza, but it was not feasible there because of ecological reasons, pre-existing structures, and difficulty of the terrain, so the definitive emplacement was Copoya plateau.
The funds to afford this construction came from events such as raffles, church collecting, advertising, petitions on the streets, etc. Entrepreneurs of all kinds joined in this, but not state-owned companies.
It was designed by Jaime Latapí López, a Mexican architect, always interested in the passion of Christ and his Glory. He was asked for something new, different, innovative. It did not take a long time to be built. Another requirement of the board formed for its construction was that it could be seen clearly from the capital of Chiapas without disturbing the tranquility of the place where it was going to be built. Likewise, he was asked to withstand the earthquakes that from time to time shake the area. Some specialists engineers were asked about that.
The image of Christ in the middle of the cross stands out connecting the image of the risen Christ with the passion represented by the metal cross. The steel and aluminum structure confers it a light appearance, but also transmits the strength of El Salvador. Its orientation allows the sun´s rays to reflect on the city with a golden light. The low-cost energy lighting that is given at night is in according to the liturgical calendar. The pyramidal base evokes the pre-Hispanic origin of Mexico and the miscegenation that this nation reached after centuries of Spanish domination.
This Christ is one of the most visited places in Tuxtla Gutiérrez by locals and foreigners.
There are some shops, you can also get some handicrafts..
The opening hours are usually from 10 am to 7 pm from Monday to Thursday, and from 10 am to 8 pm from Friday to Sunday, but that could vary.
It is located in Copoya, just 3 km from Tuxtla Gutiérrez.
To get there, the best option is to take a taxi and ask him to wait for us while we contemplate the views and take our pictures.
BE HAPPY, THERE IS FIESTA SOUP!
Chiapas gastronomy is very varied and rich in flavors. This is highly influenced by the Zoque culture that is featured by the use of native products such as corn and tomatoes. The recipes coming from the other side of the Atlantic mixed with the indigenous cooking style results in delicious mestizo gastronomy. In fact, Mexican cuisine is declared Intangible World Heritage by Unesco.
One of those dishes resulting from the mix of both cultures that make up today´s Mexico, is the Sopa de Pan or Sopa de Fiesta, with great Spanish reminiscences. This soup was traditionally consumed during the Easter vigils, as it doesn´t include meat. This dish is widely consumed in regional religious celebrations. The recipe has been enriched over time.
The ingredients of a good Fiesta Soup are two liters of chicken or hen broth (preferably homemade), three crushed or blended tomatoes, three onion slices, fifty grams of raisins, ten plums raisins, four boiled eggs, two sliced bread rolls, four cinnamon sticks, half a cup of olives, salt and oil.
First boil the broth with the tomato and onion, adding the slices of bread, which have previously been browned in a pan with oil and later drained on a paper. Add to this stew the raisins, olives, and cinnamon. Let it boil for five more minutes, turn off the heat, let it rest for a few minutes, and serve with slices of hard-boiled egg on top, and a sprig of parsley to decorate the dish.
Of course, it is also very common to add plantain, carrot, and Italian pumpkin, as well as ejotes y chícharos (green beans and peas.) This is the simplest and most traditional version within the very varied possible recipes.
Is recommended to give it a special touch with saffron, oregano, and thyme.
As anecdotal, in 2 006, during the Spring and Peace Fair of the Chiapas city of San Cristóbal de las Casas, a so immense Fiesta Soup was prepared that was listed in Guinness Book of Records.
Indications: In the Mercado de Los Ancianos or Mercado San Juan is possible to taste this dish as well as others from the region. It closes early, at 5:00 p.m., although it also opens very early, at 5:00 a.m.
Restaurants with a Chiapas atmosphere to taste it are Las Pichanchas, La Selva, El Giraldillo, Tilingo Lingo, and La Casona among others.
THE LARGEST SHOPPING CENTER IN CHIAPAS
We suggest you the latest of Tuxtla Gutiérrez that has expanded a lot in recent years and still expands.
In the modern part of the city, there is the Ámbar Fashion Mall, a recently opened shopping center. 1 500 million pesos were invested in its works. Employs directly 1 000 persons and 7 000 indirectly.
It is the largest shopping center in Chiapas with 114 stores and almost 3 000 parking spaces.
There are stores of the best brands, especially clothing for men, women, and kids. Would you like to replace or add a new garment to your wardrobe?
Some of the fashion houses represented here are Sfera, Lacoste, Isadora, Clôe, Ferrioni, Liverpool, Tommy Hilfiger, Solaris, Gec, Náutica, and H & M stores, as well as many others. This elegant place disposes of coffee shops like Starbucks or places to get an ice cream, as well as restaurants and sandwich shops for a snack if you just need to fill a bit your stomach. There is also a large outdoor terrace with chairs to get some fresh air.
The building comprises several floors. On the lower floor, in addition to shops, there are some big fountains with colour illuminated jets of water, perfect for relaxing. In addition, on the top floor, there are the Cinemex cinemas in case you get tired of shopping and decide to spend a long time watching a movie.
Next to it, there is a Chedraui supermarket for almost everything you might need such as food, a toothbrush that you forgot in the previous hotel or an electrical adapter so that you can finally charge your cell phone by yourself without borrowing it from the tourist who sits next to you in the bus.
This Mall is located at the foot of the Fiesta Inn hotel.
Address: Plaza Ámbar Fashion Mall.
Tuxtla Gutiérrez. - San Pedro Tapanatepec 24. Unnamed Zone ze Col 24. 29040. Tuxtla Gutiérrez.
Open every day from 10 am to 10:30 pm
A GREAT FLAG
There is a very nice photo that you can take with the Mexican flag that has been flying since 1 942 on a large 25-metres high pole in the Bicentennial Park of Tuxtla Gutierrez. That is the Monument to the Flag where there is a series of reliefs inspired by the Chiapas world before the conquest. Stand out two images of women who shake their hands. This represents the moment when the Federation of Chiapas joined the Mexican Republic back in 1 824.
The Monument to the Flag is in the Bicentennial Park that began to be built on 18 December 1 941, to commemorate the 117th anniversary of the incorporation of the Federation of Chiapas to Mexico.
This new park is a refurbishment of the old Parque Morelos y Pavón. Its Bicentennial name comes from the celebration of 200 years of the independence of Mexico from the Kingdom of Spain.
A romantic sign placed by the locals at the top of the monument, at the end of a grandstand, reads: “This space is exclusively for hugs and kisses "
The new park has an area for public events, some playgrounds, food sales, and public toilets. This new remodeling also has an artificial waterfall, a fountain and waterfalls, and a monument dedicated to Peace.
Some more vegetation is missed in this park, mainly threatened or close to extinction native species like the acacia flamboyán, the primavera, the matilisguate, and the cupapé among others. All these trees were abundant in the city, but the uncontrolled urban growth has considerably decreased the number of items. The red colour of the flamboyant flowers is remarkable, as well as the yellow of primaveras and the purple of the matilisguate that brighten up the city and could now make this park colourful.
The top of the Flag Monument allows beautiful photos of it and excellent views of the entire city of Tuxtla.
This park is also a gathering place for families and young couples. An ideal place to take pictures and rest.
The old Morelos y Pavón park gathered the previous generations, who came up here to fly kites since the air flows free at these heights.
Indications: Av. Sur Pte.1336, La Lomita, Tuxtla Gutiérrez.
Between the first and second avenues South, between streets 12 and 14. Some public bus routes pass this way.
AN ECLECTIC BUILDING
The City Museum building is located in the San Andrés quarter, one of the four genuine central quarters of Tuxtla Gutierrez city. All these four quarters had their own church and adjacent park, but unfortunately, modernity has caused all these churches and parks to gradually disappear except those in the Santo Domingo neighborhood.
This is one of the four buildings in the center of Tuxtla Gutiérrez that is listed as Historic and Artistic Monument by the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH). Is one of the few survivors of the fever and constructive fury that ended with so many buildings in Tuxtla.
It was built between 1 941 and 1 942 with the design of the architect Francisco D´Amico. It is Neocolonial style, it has some ornaments of Arabic and Mudejar styles among others. Today it is considered "Eclectic style" by the INAH.
From 1 981 to 2 000 it functioned as the site of the Mexican Workers Confederation. In 2 000 the building was recovered and handed over to the Fernando Castañón Foundation when it become the headquarters of the Museum of Tuxtla Gutiérrez City. The construction remained unfinished, so the building was partially closed until 2 012 when the Friends Museum Association was created and the project was recovered. The building was quite deteriorated, with leaks and decayed wooden windows and doors. Some rooms were rented to the Chiapaneca Autonomous University to collect money to afford water, electricity, and repairs, although there is still much to repair.
Today this building houses the Tuxtla Gutiérrez City Museum that aims to publicize and disseminate the customs, traditions, lifestyle, and history of the Tuxtla people from the founding of the city to the present day. This cultural space opened its doors in 2 002. It promotes and disseminates different contemporary artistic and creative local expressions.
At the moment, and awaiting new arrangements, there are three rooms equipped and open to the public: a room that represents the office of Emilio Rabasa, a local man of letters. One other is a tribute to Joaquín Miguel Gutiérrez, a military, politician and governor. The third is dedicated to the period of Porfirio Diaz´s Presidency, that preceded the Mexican Revolution of the XX century. This revolutionary period also has its space, as well as another dedicated to the indigenous community of Zoques. In the museum courtyard, there is a replica of a Zoque house whose structure is made of bajareque (maize cane framework covered with mud). Also the trobe (warehouse) of the house and the chicken coop are represented.
The museum also disposes of a library.
Indications: Avenida Central Poniente, corner 2 Poniente. 29000 Tuxtla Gutiérrez.
It opens from Monday to Friday from 10 am to 9 pm. Saturday from 9 am to 1 pm. Sunday is closed.
Tel (961) 600 01 16
WHAT DO YOU SCARE MOST, NIGHT ANIMALS OR GHOSTS?
The Tuxtla Gutiérrez Zoo is called Miguel Alvarez del Toro. It is a place where native and threatened animals from Chiapas are exhibited. It is usually known as Zoomat and it extends along thirty hectares of land. A two kilometres circuit is disposed to meet the surprising semi-free fauna immerse in the completely native vegetation.
Ready for a strong experience? Would you dare to go at night to one of the best zoos in Mexico and take a tour in which nocturnal animals are active, beating you in night vision and other senses? Would you also dare to immerse in a series of legends of the Chiapas capital and the rest of the state in an environment surrounded by wild animals and their sounds in the middle of the night? If you have the feeling, the stamina, and the cold blood to bear it, go ahead and book up in one of the night visits that Zoomat, the Tuxtla Gutiérrez zoo organizes in the capital of Chiapas.
During the tour, and with the help of a lamp, an expert zoo guide will show you the nocturnal animals. At the same time, he will tell stories and mysteries that happened in the zoo, and ancient legends that normally are related to nature or with unsolved mysterious cases.
It is a chilling experience in the dark of the night surrounded by wild animals and ghosts like the night watchman tied to that place. He will accompany you, watching you on your way, he will appear at the least expected moments ... you will meet him.
Zoque and colonial legends will remove you or even terrorify you. The visit to this spectacular zoo is completely different during the day than during the night, which makes you feel defenseless against so many wild animals that you do not know how they will react. Also, the many characters that will truly appear in the different performances or in your mind after the related stories won´t let you be indifferent. If you are susceptible, you may not know how to differentiate reality from imagination at some point during the tour. The roar of the jaguar, the silhouette of the crocodile, or the man who committed suicide in the middle of the dark will frightens you for sure. I wish no snake escapes from the snake cage during your visit…
Ah! I forgot! As if this were not enough I wish you do not cross the Girl of the Zoomat, I will not anticipate you anymore!
A visit not for the faint of heart!
Do you dare to do it despite everything we have told you?
Indications: Tours are only carried out if there is a minimum number of 12 people and a maximum of 15.
A limit age range from 12 to 60 years is established... there is a reason!
The route of legends is not allowed to people with motor deficiencies, pregnant women, or people with heart or epileptic problems.
The tours take place on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from 8 pm. The days could vary.
Telephone number 961 6 39 29 77 or wasap at 961 110 20 964 from 8.30 am to 4.30 pm to find out and confirm.
The cost is about 150 pesos per person and lasts about one hour and a half.
A TOWER, A FEW APOSTLES IN PROCESSION, AND A FACADE FULL OF LIGHT AND COLOR
The Cathedral of San Marcos in Tuxtla Gutiérrez was built at the beginning of the Spanish colony, in 1 560. Since then it has suffered several refurbishments. In the central part, in the main arch, there is a lion, the symbol of Saint Mark the Evangelist. The tower is on the left of the main facade that gives access to the cathedral.
The interior is made up of a long nave white painted in neoclassical style. The magnificent stained glass windows expand the light in colors on the interior.
It is very nice to go at 8 and 9 in the evening when a sound and light show please our eyes and ears on the main facade. Sounds, music, images, and colors are performed. Religious images from the pre-colonial period and Christianity are exposed. The different decorations, construction stages, and their different destruction and remodeling are also represented. Scenes of the Chiapas jungle, its trees, its animals, and its waterways are played. Also images of indigenous people and their traditional designs along with the Chiapas folklore such as the marimba music or the typical parties and dances. Flowers, colored flags, and fabrics decorate the facade of the church. This wonderful show lasts about ten minutes.
The clock of the Cathedral of San Marcos is unique. The cathedral is remarkable, although the clock tower usually goes unnoticed except when is seen from the Central Plaza at the right moment when it marks the hours. This clock is not very old, it dates from 1 982 when the cathedral was renovated.
It is German technology, based on an electromechanical system. In 2 000 it was modified to an electronic system that makes it unique in the entire Mexican Republic. The cathedral´s carillon is made up of 42 bells that ring at every exact hour accompanying the walk of the twelve apostles of Christ. In other parts of Mexico speakers with prerecorded music are used, but this is not the case here. To the rhythm of the bells, the saints turn on a mobile platform towards the outside, as in a procession, one after another to return to the interior of the tower. Each one bears the symbol that characterizes him: Saint Peter the keys, Saint Mark his Gospel, Saint Andrew the saltire on which he was crucified, etc. Curiously, the sound of the bells resembles the national anthem of Spain, although somewhat out of tune.
The clock has become one of the landmarks of the city.
In 1 990 the Cathedral of San Marcos was visited by Pope John Paul II, and in 2 016 Pope Francis did the same.
Indications: The Cathedral is open every day from 7 am to 9 pm.
The multimedia projection takes place on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday at 8 pm and 9 pm.
The carillon parades every hour o’clock in the tower of the Cathedral.
A CATHEDRAL, A HISTORICAL ALLEY, AND A CHURCH WITNESSES OF THE PAST
The historic center of Tuxtla Gutiérrez has unfortunately changed a lot during the XX and XXI centuries. A large part of buildings from the XVI to XX centuries have been destroyed. In many cases, the cause of destroying has been nature, as in 1 902 when an earthquake collapsed two of the three towers of the cathedral.
Another change is the street names. Originally they were named after the liberators of the XIX century, but now they have current names distributed from south to north and from east to west. Some ancient buildings need to be protected.
We propose a route to see the best old churches along with some important historical monuments of the city. A good starting point is the Cathedral of San Marcos. It has been greatly reformed over the centuries but still it houses frescoes from the end of the XVI century along with other elements from its distant past.
Leaving the cathedral we can walk through the Central Plaza or Plaza de la Libertad, a historical strolling and resting spot of Chiapas society. Let´s approach the Callejon del Sacrificio, located at the back of the Cathedral. In this small street, the General Joaquín Miguel Gutiérrez fell from the dome of the cathedral after being defeated and executed up during his fight to defend the incorporation of Chiapas into Mexico in 1 838. The current name of the Chiapas city was given in 1 848 by Governor Nicolás Ruiz Maldonado in honor of the general assassinated there.
A walk of five or six minutes leads to the Church of Santo Domingo, which is the oldest preserved construction in the city together with the Cathedral. This is the only church preserved of those that existed in the four quarters of the Historic Center: San Jacinto, San Miguel, San Andrés, and Santo Domingo. Each one had its church and its park. The only neighborhood that has managed to preserve all its architectural heritage is Santo Domingo de Guzmán. The church of Santo Domingo was dedicated to evangelization, following the example of its Saint Patron. Today it is very restored.
It has a Renaissance façade with Roman reminiscences and a thick and heavy tower built in brick with a staircase that looks like a medieval or Mudejar turret. The Santo Domingo was one of the first quarters created after the founding of the town of San Marcos in 1560. The ancient city of San Marcos is the current Tuxtla Gutiérrez.
Originally populated by indigenous Zoques, they were gradually displaced to the periphery. It was a very important neighborhood at economic, political, and social level. It housed some important buildings. Its park has always been very active with games, levers, and fair stands with boxers, trapeze artists, guitarists, etc. Nowadays these activities turned into artistic and cultural ones such as evening concerts.
San Marcos Cathedral: Visitable from 7 am to 9 pm.
Church of Santo Domingo: Visitable from 8 am to 7 pm.
A PARK WITH GREAT HISTORY
A central place surrounded by monuments, where is nice to walk quietly and to observe the passage of all kinds of local and foreign characters, is the Central Park of Tuxtla Gutiérrez.
Central Park has been throughout its long existence a meeting place for families and couples who sought its peaceful benches under the shade of ancient ceibas, and laurel trees. This historical place is placed in the heart of the capital of Chiapas.
Many transformations over time have been developed. The last of them took place some years ago and was the replacement of the original floor by the current one made of volcanic stone.
Its official name is Parque de la Libertad because since 2 003 there is a replica of the Statue of Liberty.
The park also has another statue from 1 892, to honor the pro-independence activist Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla.
The Central Park is surrounded by important monuments such as the Government Palace where the Executive Power; the Municipal Presidency; the Federal Government Palace near to San Marcos Cathedral and the Legislative Palace where the local Congress has its headquarters.
Today, the Jardin de la Marimba that you will surely visit during your stay in this city, has become the favorite meeting place of Tuxtla Gutiérrez inhabitants however this huge central square is an extremely interesting place.
There is a huge and lush ceiba where the birds gather, their song is especially deafening at sunset.
Formerly, when the city of Tuxtla was not still canalized, there was a large monumental fountain. The horses drank in one of its pools, the other pool was reserved for women who collected water in jugs to bring home.
The square was the meeting place to discuss the Independence of Mexico, deciding there on 15 September 1 822, the accession to the Empire of Agustín de Iturbide. A plebiscite held, in 1 824 decided the annexation of Chiapas to the Mexican Republic.
In the square, festivals such as those dedicated to the Virgin of Guadalupe are celebrated. Also, the first hot air balloons were seen in the sky from here. At the end of the XIX century, a market was built but did not last long since a larger one was built in another place.
At the beginning of the XX century, the square was expanded, walkways were built, and trees were planted creating gardens and kiosks.
Today only some of these trees remain standing. The marble floor was changed by another made of volcanic stone.
In brief, a very pleasant place to walk and watch all kinds of people, to rest, and to observe and photograph the great government buildings and the Cathedral of San Marcos.
Indications: No Name Assignment Zone. Col 42. Tuxtla Gutiérrez.
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