Welcome to "The Beautiful One"
Toluca is the capital of the State of Mexico, located 65 kilometers west of Mexico City with a neoclassic French architecture at home. This beautiful city offers attractions because of the great cultural and artistic heritage that has kept alive the union of Spanish and indigenous culture. The city highlights its museums, the picturesque town of Metepec, multiple parks, and cultural events among that stand out the picturesque weakling festival to mark the annual celebration of the "Day of the Dead" and the International Film Festival of Toluca.
The first human settlements in these lands date back to 1200 years BC. Evidence of these are found in the anthropology museum located in the former hacienda La Pila, Toluca, which showcases the remains of ancient natives and evolution of primitive man in the state, as well as garments and utensils that were used when they came to the region.
Around the year 600 various groups settled in the valley of Toluca. Among these include the matlazincas, Otomi, Mazahua, malinalcas among others that are credited with enriching the area with culture and ceremonial sites that remain to date like Huamango, Ceremonial Center Mazhua, and the Temple of the Eagle and Tiger among others.
The Spaniards crossed the valley in 1522 under the leadership of military and Spanish explorer Christopher de Olid. Shortly after the missionaries arrived, there were missionaries who were devoted to the construction of chapels and monasteries, like the Chapel of the Holy Cross. It was until 1799 that Royal Charter declared Toluca a city.
There are different opinions about when the city of Toluca was founded. Some put the date March 19, 1523 with the arrival of the missionaries who evangelized the Matlazincas and Mexica who settled in the valley of Toluca. The city is one of the earliest settlements of the Spanish colonial period in Mexico. According the amendment to article 5 of the constitution on October 16, 1830, Toluca became the constitutional capital of Mexico.
Today Toluca is considered an important industrial center of Mexico. Industries in the municipality are engaged in the production and distribution of beverages, processed foods, textiles, electrical products, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and automobile assembling factories such as: General Motors, Chrysler, Daimler-Freightliner, BMW, Nissan, Mastretta Cars, Italika, Peugeot and Volva in the Toluca Valley. Another important sector is agriculture and livestock.
Abundant in natural resources that allow visitors to practice alternative sports such as abseiling, diving and excursions along the countryside. Toluca hides many magical places that are worth mentioning such as the Temple of Santa Veracruz, the Merced church, the Cathedral, the historic center, Cosmovitral Botanical Garden among others.
The city of Toluca is located in the central area of the State of Mexico to 72 kilometers from the capital. It has a total area of 420.14 square kilometers, accounting for 1.87% of the state territory. It limits the north with the municipality of Temoaya, northwest with the municipality of Otzolotepec, east to the town of Lerma and the municipality of San Mateo, south-east with the municipality of Metepec, with the municipality and the municipality Calimaya Tenango del Valle, south with the municipality of Villa Guerrero, west with the municipality of Zinacantepec and northwest with the municipality of Almoloya de Juarez.
The annual average recorded temperature is 13.5 ° C. This city is cooler than any of the Mexican Republic due to its altitude, winter nights are cold with temperatures dropping below 0° C. Throughout the year, the temperature is rarely below -3° C or above 27° C.
The weather is cool and wet, high humidity, rainy with occasional hail in the summer. Freezing temperatures are common during the winter.
The most important economic activity in Toluca is the industry devoted to the production and distribution of beverages, processed foods, textiles, automobiles, electrical products, chemical and pharmaceuticals.
In addition to the industrial sector, much of the population is engaged in tertiary activities such as trade, services, agriculture and livestock. Corn, tomatoes, fruit orchards, vegetables and greenhouses are grown; and milk and dairy products produced.
Toluca's cuisine features a mix of native ingredients with Spanish products and techniques. Below are listed some popular dishes of the city that you have to try when visiting the city:
Pambasos: Bread soaked with guajillo chili sauce stuffed with a mixture of potatoes with sausage, served with lettuce, cheese and sour cream.
Rabbit in mixiote: Prepared spiced rabbit meat, steamed and wrapped in a clear film from the maguey stalk.
Pulque: Alcoholic beverage obtained from the fermentation of pulque maguey Mead.
Garapiña frost: Produced from fermented pineapple.
Tacos bishop: Sausage prepared locally with marrow, brain, pork and chili.
Taco Placero: Prepared with pork, avocado, cactus, serrano pepper, tomato, onion and quelite.
Toluqueño Huarache: Prepared with blue or yellow corn tostada, cooked in a clay oven, which is smeared with beans and accompanied by boiled cactus, onions, cilantro and cheese, and finally bathes with a spicy tomato sauce.
Clothing typical of the city of Toluca is the result of the mixture of Otomi and Mazahua suit.
The women wear a white cotton blouse, a shawl, and girdle at the bottom. They use huaraches as footwear.
The man wears a blanket outfit, bandana, straw hat and huaraches.
It is celebrated every year on March 21 where presentations of various styles of traditional dances, coinciding with Easter with the traditional Via Cruci.
Day of the Dead:
Celebrated annually on November 2, counts with a presentation of plays, storytelling and film.
Held in late October and early November in which you can taste a variety of sweets chocolate, amaranth and sugar like in the traditional skulls.
International Film Festival of the Historical Center of Toluca (FICCHT):
Held annually in the month August is a Mexican film festival that aims to bond the society, providing spaces for expression, dissemination and exhibition of national cinema, establishing a cultural and artistic project by promoting the films made in Mexico.
Places of interest
Zocalo or Martires Square
It includes important buildings like the Palace of the State Government and the Palace of Justice. The square is named after the events that took place after the Battle of Tenango Hill during the War of Independence of Mexico. Insurgent commander José Maria Oviedo faced the realistic army of Rosendo Porlier, who succeeded in driving the rebels north to Toluca. In addition, the royalist forces took care of a hundred prisoners and executed them in the main square. The bodies of prisoners were buried in a mass grave behind what is now the City Hall.
The Temple of La Merced
It is a former convent preserved and one of the most important in the city founded by the Spaniards. It is a beautiful building of the religious order called mercenaries. Its main facade has three bodies and was built in the 18th century on the ruins of the ancient temple of San Francisco. Its interior features neoclassical style with gold leaf. It features an oil painting titled "Birth of San Pedro Nolasco", founder of the Mercenaries order.
Plaza de Fray Andres de Castro
It is located next to Los Portales and connected to the major arcs through a hallway with a transparent roof. It is a semi-enclosed space that was once the sacristy of the Franciscan monastery of La Asuncion. The sacristy was built by Felipe de Ureña and Jose Rivera and is essentially a replica of the Santa Maria del Puerto Hermitage in Madrid and is one of the few remaining buildings of the former monastery. The square outside was recently remodeled, but still contains the traditional shops selling garapiña, traditional cakes, tacos and other regional foods.
The Cathedral of Toluca
Its construction started in 1867 by Jose Francisco de Paula and originally designed by Agustín Carrillo. In 1870, Ramon Rodriguez Arangoiti redesigned the cathedral, based on his experience with ancient Roman basilicas although the present building still contains a number of elements of the original design. The cathedral is crowned by a dome with a bronze statue of St. Joseph, who is the patron saint of the city, with the child Jesus.
The temple of the Holy Veracruz
Also it is known as "Black Christ", a venerated image that at first you could see the high altar of the parish of San Francisco de Toluca.
Currently, the Black Christ occupies the main altar of the chapel, flanked by the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary.
Its construction began in 1753, but due to the friction between the Franciscans and the faithful, was not finished until 1797 with a baroque style. It consists of two parts, a bell tower and another that houses a clock that belonged to the convent of the Carmelitas del Santo Desierto de Tenancingo.
The Museum of Fine Arts
Founded in 1945 by former governor Isidro Fabela; showcases art from Jose Juarez, Cristobal de Villalpando, Miguel Cabrera among others. It is housed in an 18th century building that was once the convent "Discalced Carmelites Immaculate Conception" built between 1697 and 1711.
The Museum of Natural Sciences
Located in Matlatzinca Park since 1971, founded by former governor Carlos Hank Gonzalez. Exhibits presentations related to natural science. Luis Gonzalez Camarena also holds collections of butterflies, insects, mammals and crustaceans.
The Watercolor Museum
Founded in 1993, located in a house that has always been known as "El Gallito" name on the shield of the main facade. It is one of the few museums in the world dedicated to watercolors. It features rooms dedicated to Mexican artists such as Velázquez Pastor, Vicente Mendiola, Edgardo Coghlan, Ignacio Barrios and Angel Mauro.
The Museum Jose Maria Velasco
Built in the seventeenth century, the enclosure is a fine example of architectural art prevailing at the time that elapsed the painter's life, plus it is a site of historical value. It is intended to honor the memory and celebrate work of the most renowned nineteenth century national artists.
It has 10 permanent galleries exhibiting paintings covering the various creative periods of the master and his contemporaries. Among his own pictures stand out the oil paintings, the volcanoes from the Valley of Ocotlán, Santa Isabel and subjects announcing the arrival of Cortes Moctezuma. It also has a temporary room, library and cafeteria.