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Mexico

In The News

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, July 13, 2008 at 16:49:03

Panorama of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico (state, Guanajuato)San Miguel de Allende is the seat of the municipality of Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico. Nestled high in the cool hills of the Mexican altiplano, in the eastern part of Guanajuato in Mexico's mountainous bajío region, San Miguel De Allende is one the hippest, busiest, most charming towns in Mexico. San Miguel de Allende retains a rich colonial charm with its cobblestone streets and beautiful Spanish colonial mansions, many of which have been restored to their former splendor.

Originally known as San Miguel El Grande, the town was founded by a Franciscan monk named Fray Juan de San Miguel in 1542. It was an important stop over on the Antigua Camino Real, part of the silver route from Zacatecas.

High season runs from December 15 to April 1, when the days are clear and sunny, and nights are cool. April through August is low season, with hotter days in the spring and rain in the summer. The rainy season in San Miguel de Allende begins the beginning of June and generally lasts through the middle of October.

Main Square, San Miguel de AllendeSan Miguel de Allende is world famous for its colonial architecture, and large expatriate population, which estimates number from 8,500 - 10,000. San Miguel de Allende has become an attractive tourist destination for wealthy Mexico City residents and has a large American and Canadian expatriate community comprised primarily of retirees.

During the final week of July, San Miguel de Allende and Guanajuato are co-hosts to the Expresión en Corto International Film Festival, Mexico's largest competitive film festival and the most prestigious of its kind in Latin America. The internationally renowned festival is free to the public and screens over 400 films from 10am until 4am each day in 16 venues, which include such unusual locations as San Miguel's Jardín Principal (or main square), the subterranean streets and tunnels of Guanajuato, the Guanajuato Mummy Museum and both city's Municipal graveyards (Panteónes).

La Parroquia church, San Miguel de Allende, MexicoSee in San Miguel de Allende

- Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel, the marvelous pink granite parish, looking like an ornate candy sculpture at the zocalo (called "El Jardin" by the locals).
- El Jardin, the main square or also known as Zocalo.
- The Heart of Frida Exhibition, private gallery showcasing original letters and drawings that Frida Kahlo did before her death.
- Museo Casa Ignacio Allende, home of one of the independence heros.
- Casa Mayorazgo de La Canal, home of a very wealthy family.
- Templo de la Concepcion.
- Centro Cultural El Nigromante.
- Teatro Angela Peralta.
- Oratorio de San Felipe Neri.
- Statue of Ignacio Allende.
- Templo de Nuestra Señora de la Salud.
- Templo de San Francisco.
- Casa del Inquisidor where the holy inquisition was located.
- Benito Juarez park.
- Jardin Botanical, the unique Charco del Ingenio park above the town with its enormous collection of cacti.

San Miguel de Allende was also named a Pueblo Mágico (Magical Village) in 2002. In 2008, San Miguel was designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

UNESCO World Heritage

Mexico, El Pinacate and Gran Desierto de Altar Biosphere Reserve

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, December 31, 2013 at 11:01:27

Location Mexico
Coordinates N32 0 0 W113 55 0
Property 714,566 ha
Date of Inscription 2013

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1410 )

The 714,566 hectare site comprises two distinct parts: the dormant volcanic Pinacate Shield of black and red lava flows and desert pavements to the east, and, in the west, the Gran Altar Desert with its ever changing and varied sand dunes that can reach a height of 200 metres. This landscape of dramatic contrast notably features linear, star and dome dunes as well as several arid granite massifs, some as high as 650 metres. The dunes emerge like islands from the sea of sand and harbour distinct and highly diverse plant and wildlife communities, including endemic freshwater fish species and the endemic Sonoran Pronghorn, which is only to be found in northwestern Sonora and in southwestern Arizona (USA). Ten enormous, deep and almost perfectly circular craters, believed to have been formed by a combination of eruptions and collapses, also contribute to the dramatic beauty of the site whose exceptional combination of features are of great scientific interest. The site is also a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

Photos from Landolia

Crater Elegante, El Pinacate and Gran Desierto de Altar Biosphere Reserve

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Mexico, Prehistoric Caves of Yagul and Mitla in the Central Valley of Oaxaca

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, March 27, 2013 at 04:31:44

Location Mexico
Coordinates N16 57 3 W96 25 16
Property 1,515 ha
Date of Inscription 2010

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1352 )

This property lies on the northern slopes of the Tlacolula valley in subtropical central Oaxaca and consists of two pre-Hispanic archaeological complexes and a series of pre-historic caves and rock shelters. Some of these shelters provide archaeological and rock-art evidence for the progress of nomadic hunter-gathers to incipient farmers. Ten thousand-year-old Cucurbitaceae seeds in one cave, Guilá Naquitz, are considered to be the earliest known evidence of domesticated plants in the continent, while corn cob fragments from the same cave are said to be the earliest documented evidence for the domestication of maize. The cultural landscape of the Prehistoric Caves of Yagul and Mitla demonstrates the link between man and nature that gave origin to the domestication of plants in North America, thus allowing the rise of Mesoamerican civilizations.

Photos from Landolia

Yagul Mitla

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Mexico, Protective town of San Miguel and the Sanctuary of Jesus Nazareno de Atotonilco

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, March 27, 2013 at 04:19:22

Location San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato Region, Mexico
Coordinates N20 54 52 W100 44 47
Property 47 ha
Date of Inscription 2008

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1274 )

The fortified town, first established in the 16th century to protect the Royal Route inland, reached its apogee in the 18th century when many of its outstanding religious and civic buildings were built in the style of the Mexican Baroque. Some of these buildings are masterpieces of the style that evolved in the transition from Baroque to neoclassical. Situated 14 km from the town, the Jesuit sanctuary, also dating from the 18th century, is one of the finest examples of Baroque art and architecture in the New Spain. It consists of a large church, and several smaller chapels, all decorated with oil paintings by Rodriguez Juárez and mural paintings by Miguel Antonio Martínez de Pocasangre. Because of its location, San Miguel de Allende acted as a melting pot where Spaniards, Creoles and Amerindians exchanged cultural influences while the Sanctuary of Jesús Nazareno de Atotonilco constitutes an exceptional example of the exchange between European and Latin American cultures. Its architecture and interior decoration testify to the influence of Saint Ignacio de Loyola’s doctrine.

Photos from Landolia

La Parroquia, protective town of San Miguel Sanctuary of Atotonilco

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Mexico, Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, March 27, 2013 at 04:09:03

Location Mexico
Coordinates N19 36 23 W100 14 30
Property 13,552 ha
Date of Inscription 2008

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1290 )

The 56,259 ha biosphere lies within rugged forested mountains about 100 km northwest of Mexico City. Every autumn, millions, perhaps a billion, butterflies from wide areas of North America return to the site and cluster on small areas of the forest reserve, colouring its trees orange and literally bending their branches under their collective weight. In the spring, these butterflies begin an 8 month migration that takes them all the way to Eastern Canada and back, during which time four successive generations are born and die. How they find their way back to their overwintering site remains a mystery.

Photos from Landolia

Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve

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Mexico, Central University City Campus of the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de México (UNAM)

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, March 27, 2013 at 04:02:07

Location Mexico City, Mexico
Coordinates N19 19 56 W99 11 17
Property 177 ha
Date of Inscription 2007

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1250 )

The ensemble of buildings, sports facilities and open spaces of the Central University City Campus of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), was built from 1949 to 1952 by more than 60 architects, engineers and artists who were involved in the project. As a result, the campus constitutes a unique example of 20th-century modernism integrating urbanism, architecture, engineering, landscape design and fine arts with references to local traditions, especially to Mexico’s pre-Hispanic past. The ensemble embodies social and cultural values of universal significance and is one of the most significant icons of modernity in Latin America.

Photos from Landolia

Central Library, Ciudad Universitaria Olympic Stadium, Ciudad Universitaria

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Mexico, Agave Landscape and Ancient Industrial Facilities of Tequila

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, March 27, 2013 at 03:46:14

Location Tequila, Valles Region, Jalisco State, Mexico
Coordinates N20 51 47 W103 46 43
Property 35,019 ha
Date of Inscription 2006

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1209 )

The 34,658 ha site, between the foothills of the Tequila Volcano and the deep valley of the Rio Grande River, is part of an expansive landscape of blue agave, shaped by the culture of the plant used since the 16th century to produce tequila spirit and for at least 2,000 years to make fermented drinks and cloth. Within the landscape are working distilleries reflecting the growth in the international consumption of tequila in the 19th and 20th centuries. Today, the agave culture is seen as part of national identity. The area encloses a living, working landscape of blue agave fields and the urban settlements of Tequila, Arenal, and Amatitan with large distilleries where the agave ‘pineapple' is fermented and distilled. The property is also a testimony to the Teuchitlan cultures which shaped the Tequila area from AD 200-900, notably through the creation of terraces for agriculture, housing, temples, ceremonial mounds and ball courts.

Photos from Landolia

Agave fields, Agave Landscape and Ancient Industrial Facilities of Tequila Agave Landscape and Ancient Industrial Facilities of Tequila

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Mexico, Islands and Protected Areas of the Gulf of California

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, March 27, 2013 at 03:37:59

Location States of Baja California, Baja California Sur, Sonora, Sinaloa, and Nayarit, Mexico
Coordinates N27 37 36.012 W112 32 44.988
Property 688,558 ha
Date of Inscription 2005

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1182 )

The site comprises 244 islands, islets and coastal areas that are located in the Gulf of California in north-eastern Mexico. The Sea of Cortez and its islands have been called a natural laboratory for the investigation of speciation. Moreover, almost all major oceanographic processes occurring in the planet’s oceans are present in the property, giving it extraordinary importance for study. The site is one of striking natural beauty in a dramatic setting formed by rugged islands with high cliffs and sandy beaches, which contrast with the brilliant reflection from the desert and the surrounding turquoise waters. It is home to 695 vascular plant species, more than in any marine and insular property on the World Heritage List. Equally exceptional is the number of fish species: 891, 90 of them endemic. The site, moreover, contains 39% of the world’s total number of species of marine mammals and a third of the world’s marine cetacean species.

Photos from Landolia

Tiburon Island, Gulf of California Dolphins, Gulf of California

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Mexico, Luis Barragan House and Studio

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, March 27, 2013 at 03:30:31

Location Mexico City, Mexico
Coordinates N19 25 6 W99 11 54
Property 0.12 ha
Date of Inscription 2004

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1136 )

Built in 1948, the House and Studio of architect Luis Barragán in the suburbs of Mexico City represents an outstanding example of the architect’s creative work in the post-Second World War period. The concrete building, totalling 1,161 m2, consists of a ground floor and two upper storeys, as well as a small private garden. Barragán’s work integrated modern and traditional artistic and vernacular currents and elements into a new synthesis, which has been greatly influential, especially in the contemporary design of gardens, plazas and landscapes.

Photos from Landolia

Luis Barragan House and Studio Maison Barragan, Luis Barragan House and Studio

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Mexico, Franciscan Missions in the Sierra Gorda of Querétaro

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, March 27, 2013 at 03:21:27

Location State of Querétaro de Arteaga (Sierra Gorda region), Mexico
Coordinates N21 12 15.8 W99 27 50.8
Property 104 ha
Date of Inscription 2003

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1079 )

The five Franciscan missions of Sierra Gorda were built during the last phase of the conversion to Christianity of the interior of Mexico in the mid-18th century and became an important reference for the continuation of the evangelization of California, Arizona and Texas. The richly decorated church façades are of special interest as they represent an example of the joint creative efforts of the missionaries and the Indios. The rural settlements that grew around the missions have retained their vernacular character.

Photos from Landolia

San Miguel Conca, Franciscan Missions in the Sierra Gorda Tilaco, Franciscan Missions in the Sierra Gorda Jalpan de Serra, Franciscan Missions in the Sierra Gorda

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Mexico, Historic Fortified Town of Campeche

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, March 27, 2013 at 03:13:16

Location Campeche, State of Campeche, Mexico
Coordinates N19 50 47.004 W90 32 13.992
Property 181 ha
Date of Inscription 1999

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/895 )

Campeche is a typical example of a harbour town from the Spanish colonial period in the New World. The historic centre has kept its outer walls and system of fortifications, designed to defend this Caribbean port against attacks from the sea.

Photos from Landolia

Historic Fortified Town of Campeche Fort San Miguel, Historic Fortified Town of Campeche

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Mexico, Archaeological Monuments Zone of Xochicalco

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, March 27, 2013 at 03:01:09

Location Municipalities of Temixco and Miacatlan, Morelos State, Mexico
Coordinates N18 48 37.008 W99 16 30
Property 708 ha
Date of Inscription 1999

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/939 )

Xochicalco is an exceptionally well-preserved example of a fortified political, religious and commercial centre from the troubled period of 650–900 that followed the break-up of the great Mesoamerican states such as Teotihuacan, Monte Albán, Palenque and Tikal.

Photos from Landolia

Xochicalco Ballcourt, Xochicalco

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Mexico, Historic Monuments Zone of Tlacotalpan

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, March 26, 2013 at 12:26:23

Location State of Veracruz, Tlacotalpan Municipality, Mexico
Coordinates N18 36 30 W95 39 30
Property 75 ha
Date of Inscription 1998

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/862 )

Tlacotalpan, a Spanish colonial river port on the Gulf coast of Mexico, was founded in the mid-16th century. It has preserved its original urban fabric to a remarkable degree, with wide streets, colonnaded houses in a profusion of styles and colours, and many mature trees in the public open spaces and private gardens.

Photos from Landolia

Church, Historic Monuments Zone of Tlacotalpan Houses, Historic Monuments Zone of Tlacotalpan

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Mexico, Archaeological Zone of Paquimé, Casas Grandes

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, March 26, 2013 at 12:19:20

Location Municipality of Casas Grandes, State of Chihuahua, Mexico
Coordinates N30 22 32.988 W107 57 20.016
Date of Inscription 1998

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/560 )

Paquimé, Casas Grandes, which reached its apogee in the 14th and 15th centuries, played a key role in trade and cultural contacts between the Pueblo culture of the south-western United States and northern Mexico and the more advanced civilizations of Mesoamerica. The extensive remains, only part of which have been excavated, are clear evidence of the vitality of a culture which was perfectly adapted to its physical and economic environment, but which suddenly vanished at the time of the Spanish Conquest.

Photos from Landolia

Paquime, Casas Grandes Casas Grandes

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Mexico, Hospicio Cabanas, Guadalajara

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, March 26, 2013 at 12:12:34

Location Jalisco, Guadalajara, Mexico
Coordinates N20 40 26 W103 20 23
Date of Inscription 1997

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/815 )

The Hospicio Cabañas was built at the beginning of the 19th century to provide care and shelter for the disadvantaged – orphans, old people, the handicapped and chronic invalids. This remarkable complex, which incorporates several unusual features designed specifically to meet the needs of its occupants, was unique for its time. It is also notable for the harmonious relationship between the open and built spaces, the simplicity of its design, and its size. In the early 20th century, the chapel was decorated with a superb series of murals, now considered some of the masterpieces of Mexican art. They are the work of José Clemente Orozco, one of the greatest Mexican muralists of the period.

Photos from Landolia

Hospicio Cabanas

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Mexico, Historic Monuments Zone of Querétaro

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, March 26, 2013 at 12:05:59

Location Etat Querétaro, municipalité de Querétaro, Mexico
Coordinates N20 34 60 W100 22 0
Date of Inscription 1996

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/792 )

The old colonial town of Querétaro is unusual in having retained the geometric street plan of the Spanish conquerors side by side with the twisting alleys of the Indian quarters. The Otomi, the Tarasco, the Chichimeca and the Spanish lived together peacefully in the town, which is notable for the many ornate civil and religious Baroque monuments from its golden age in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Photos from Landolia

San Francisco church, Historic Monuments Zone of Queretaro Cathedral, Historic Monuments Zone of Queretaro

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Mexico, Earliest 16th-Century Monasteries on the Slopes of Popocatepetl

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, March 26, 2013 at 11:58:19

Location Morelos and Puebla States Municipalities: Atlatlauhcan, Cuernavaca, Tetela del Volcan, Yautepec, Ocuituco, Tepoztlan, Tlayacapan, Totolapan, Yecapixtla and Zacualpan de Amilpas in Morelos. Calpan, Huetotzingo and Tochimilco in Puebla. Mexico.
Coordinates N18 56 4.992 W98 53 52.008
Date of Inscription 1994

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/702 )

These 14 monasteries stand on the slopes of Popocatepetl, to the south-east of Mexico City. They are in an excellent state of conservation and are good examples of the architectural style adopted by the first missionaries – Franciscans, Dominicans and Augustinians – who converted the indigenous populations to Christianity in the early 16th century. They also represent an example of a new architectural concept in which open spaces are of renewed importance. The influence of this style is felt throughout the Mexican territory and even beyond its borders.

Photos from Landolia

San Juan Bautista Church, Monasteries on the slopes of Popocatepetl San Miguel Arcangel monastery, Monasteries on the slopes of Popocatepetl

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Mexico, Whale Sanctuary of El Vizcaino

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, March 26, 2013 at 11:50:26

Location Basse Californie Sud, Municipality of Mulege, Mexico
Coordinates N27 47 31.992 W114 13 40.008
Property 369,631 ha
Date of Inscription 1993

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/554 )

Located in the central part of the peninsula of Baja California, the sanctuary contains some exceptionally interesting ecosystems. The coastal lagoons of Ojo de Liebre and San Ignacio are important reproduction and wintering sites for the grey whale, harbour seal, California sea lion, northern elephant-seal and blue whale. The lagoons are also home to four species of the endangered marine turtle.

Photos from Landolia

Whale Sanctuary of El Vizcaino

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Mexico, Rock Paintings of the Sierra de San Francisco

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, March 26, 2013 at 11:44:19

Location State: Lower California Sud Municipality, Mexico
Coordinates N27 39 20.016 W112 54 57.996
Date of Inscription 1993

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/714 )

From c. 100 B.C. to A.D. 1300, the Sierra de San Francisco (in the El Vizcaino reserve, in Baja California) was home to a people who have now disappeared but who left one of the most outstanding collections of rock paintings in the world. They are remarkably well-preserved because of the dry climate and the inaccessibility of the site. Showing human figures and many animal species and illustrating the relationship between humans and their environment, the paintings reveal a highly sophisticated culture. Their composition and size, as well as the precision of the outlines and the variety of colours, but especially the number of sites, make this an impressive testimony to a unique artistic tradition.

Photos from Landolia

Sierra de San Francisco

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Mexico, Historic Centre of Zacatecas

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, March 26, 2013 at 11:38:13

Location Zacatecas State, Zacatecas Municipality, Mexico
Coordinates N22 46 0.012 W102 33 20.016
Property 208 ha
Date of Inscription 1993

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/676 )

Founded in 1546 after the discovery of a rich silver lode, Zacatecas reached the height of its prosperity in the 16th and 17th centuries. Built on the steep slopes of a narrow valley, the town has breathtaking views and there are many old buildings, both religious and civil. The cathedral, built between 1730 and 1760, dominates the centre of the town. It is notable for its harmonious design and the Baroque profusion of its façades, where European and indigenous decorative elements are found side by side.

Photos from Landolia

Cathedral, Historic Centre of Zacatecas Our Lady of Fatima Church, Historic Centre of Zacatecas

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Mexico, El Tajin, Pre-Hispanic City

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, March 26, 2013 at 06:07:48

Location Etat de Veracruz, municipalité de Papantla, Mexico
Coordinates N20 28 35.004 W97 22 39
Property 240 ha
Date of Inscription 1992

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/631 )

Located in the state of Veracruz, El Tajin was at its height from the early 9th to the early 13th century. It became the most important centre in north-east Mesoamerica after the fall of the Teotihuacan Empire. Its cultural influence extended all along the Gulf and penetrated into the Maya region and the high plateaux of central Mexico. Its architecture, which is unique in Mesoamerica, is characterized by elaborate carved reliefs on the columns and frieze. The 'Pyramid of the Niches', a masterpiece of ancient Mexican and American architecture, reveals the astronomical and symbolic significance of the buildings. El Tajin has survived as an outstanding example of the grandeur and importance of the pre-Hispanic cultures of Mexico.

Photos from Landolia

Building 5, El Tajin Pyramid, El Tajin

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Mexico, Historic Centre of Morelia

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, March 26, 2013 at 06:00:44

Location Michoacan. Mairie de Morelia, Mexico
Coordinates N19 42 15.984 W101 11 30.012
Property 390 ha
Date of Inscription 1991

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/585 )

Built in the 16th century, Morelia is an outstanding example of urban planning which combines the ideas of the Spanish Renaissance with the Mesoamerican experience. Well-adapted to the slopes of the hill site, its streets still follow the original layout. More than 200 historic buildings, all in the region's characteristic pink stone, reflect the town's architectural history, revealing a masterly and eclectic blend of the medieval spirit with Renaissance, Baroque and neoclassical elements. Morelia was the birthplace of several important personalities of independent Mexico and has played a major role in the country's history.

Photos from Landolia

Historic Centre of Morelia Morelia Cathedral

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Mexico, Historic Town of Guanajuato and Adjacent Mines

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, March 26, 2013 at 05:52:36

Location Etat de: Guanajuato. Municipalite: Guanajuato, Mexico
Coordinates N21 1 0.984 W101 15 20.016
Property 2,168 ha
Date of Inscription 1988

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/482 )

Founded by the Spanish in the early 16th century, Guanajuato became the world's leading silver-extraction centre in the 18th century. This past can be seen in its 'subterranean streets' and the 'Boca del Inferno', a mineshaft that plunges a breathtaking 600 m. The town's fine Baroque and neoclassical buildings, resulting from the prosperity of the mines, have influenced buildings throughout central Mexico. The churches of La Compañía and La Valenciana are considered to be among the most beautiful examples of Baroque architecture in Central and South America. Guanajuato was also witness to events which changed the history of the country.

Photos from Landolia

San Cayetano Church, Historic Town of Guanajuato Bocamina mine, Historic Town of Guanajuato

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Mexico, Sian Ka'an

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, March 26, 2013 at 05:45:14

Location Quintana Roo, Cozumel et Felipe Carrillo Puerto, Mexico
Coordinates N19 22 59.988 W87 47 30.012
Property 528,000 ha
Date of Inscription 1987

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/410 )

In the language of the Mayan peoples who once inhabited this region, Sian Ka'an means 'Origin of the Sky'. Located on the east coast of the Yucatán peninsula, this biosphere reserve contains tropical forests, mangroves and marshes, as well as a large marine section intersected by a barrier reef. It provides a habitat for a remarkably rich flora and a fauna comprising more than 300 species of birds, as well as a large number of the region's characteristic terrestrial vertebrates, which cohabit in the diverse environment formed by its complex hydrological system.

Photos from Landolia

Sian Ka'an Muyil Lagoon, Sian Ka'an

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Mexico, Historic Centre of Puebla

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, March 26, 2013 at 05:38:06

Location Etat de Puebla, municipalites de Puebla, San Pedro Cholula et San Andres Cholula, Mexico
Coordinates N19 2 49.992 W98 12 29.988
Property 690 ha
Date of Inscription 1987

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/416 )

Puebla, which was founded ex nihilo in 1531, is situated about 100 km east of Mexico City, at the foot of the Popocatepetl volcano. It has preserved its great religious structures such as the 16th–17th-century cathedral and fine buildings like the old archbishop's palace, as well as a host of houses with walls covered in tiles (azulejos). The new aesthetic concepts resulting from the fusion of European and American styles were adopted locally and are peculiar to the Baroque district of Puebla.

Photos from Landolia

Cathedral, Historic Centre of Puebla San Francisco Church, Historic Centre of Puebla

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Mexico, Historic Centre of Oaxaca and Archaeological Site of Monte Alban

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, March 26, 2013 at 05:26:20

Location Etat de Oaxaca de Juarez, municipalites de Oaxaca, Xoxocotlan et Cuilapan, Mexico
Coordinates N17 3 42.984 W96 43 18.012
Property 375 ha
Date of Inscription 1987

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/415 )

Inhabited over a period of 1,500 years by a succession of peoples – Olmecs, Zapotecs and Mixtecs – the terraces, dams, canals, pyramids and artificial mounds of Monte Albán were literally carved out of the mountain and are the symbols of a sacred topography. The nearby city of Oaxaca, which is built on a grid pattern, is a good example of Spanish colonial town planning. The solidity and volume of the city's buildings show that they were adapted to the earthquake-prone region in which these architectural gems were constructed.

Photos from Landolia

Santo Domingo de Guzman Church, Historic Centre of Oaxaca Monte Alban

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Mexico, Historic Centre of Mexico City and Xochimilco

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, March 26, 2013 at 05:16:03

Location District Federal. Delegations: Cuauhtemoc, Venustiano Carranza et Xochimilco, Mexico City, Mexico
Coordinates N19 25 5.988 W99 7 58.008
Date of Inscription 1987

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/412 )

Built in the 16th century by the Spanish on the ruins of Tenochtitlan, the old Aztec capital, Mexico City is now one of the world's largest and most densely populated cities. It has five Aztec temples, the ruins of which have been identified, a cathedral (the largest on the continent) and some fine 19th- and 20th-century public buildings such as the Palacio de las Bellas Artes. Xochimilco lies 28 km south of Mexico City. With its network of canals and artificial islands, it testifies to the efforts of the Aztec people to build a habitat in the midst of an unfavourable environment. Its characteristic urban and rural structures, built since the 16th century and during the colonial period; have been preserved in an exceptional manner.

Photos from Landolia

Cathedral, Historic Center of Mexico City Palacio de Bellas Artes, Historic Center of Mexico City San Bernardino Church, Xochimilco

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Mexico, Pre-Hispanic Town of Uxmal

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, May 31, 2012 at 13:28:49

Location Etat de Yucatan, municipalites Muna et Santa Elena, Mexico
Coordinates N20 21 42 W89 46 13
Date of Inscription 1996

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/791 )

The Mayan town of Uxmal, in Yucatán, was founded c. A.D. 700 and had some 25,000 inhabitants. The layout of the buildings, which date from between 700 and 1000, reveals a knowledge of astronomy. The Pyramid of the Soothsayer, as the Spaniards called it, dominates the ceremonial centre, which has well-designed buildings decorated with a profusion of symbolic motifs and sculptures depicting Chaac, the god of rain. The ceremonial sites of Uxmal, Kabah, Labna and Sayil are considered the high points of Mayan art and architecture.

Photos from Landolia

Uxmal, Adivino Uxmal

More photos and localization on interactive Google Map


Mexico, Pre-Hispanic City of Teotihuacan

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, May 31, 2012 at 12:54:28

Location Municipalities of Teotihuacan De Arista and San Martin De Las Piramides, Mexico
Coordinates N19 41 30.012 W98 50 30.012
Property 3,382 ha
Date of Inscription 1987

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/414 )

The holy city of Teotihuacan ('the place where the gods were created') is situated some 50 km north-east of Mexico City. Built between the 1st and 7th centuries A.D., it is characterized by the vast size of its monuments – in particular, the Temple of Quetzalcoatl and the Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon, laid out on geometric and symbolic principles. As one of the most powerful cultural centres in Mesoamerica, Teotihuacan extended its cultural and artistic influence throughout the region, and even beyond.

Photos from Landolia

Teotihuacan Pyramid of the Sun, Teotihuacan

More photos and localization on interactive Google Map


Mexico, Pre-Hispanic City and National Park of Palenque

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, May 31, 2012 at 12:20:49

Location State of Chiapas, Municipality of Palenque, Mexico
Coordinates N17 28 59.988 W92 2 60
Date of Inscription 1987

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/411 )

A prime example of a Mayan sanctuary of the classical period, Palenque was at its height between AD 500 and 700, when its influence extended throughout the basin of the Usumacinta River. The elegance and craftsmanship of the buildings, as well as the lightness of the sculpted reliefs with their Mayan mythological themes, attest to the creative genius of this civilization.

Photos from Landolia

Mayan civilization, Palenque Temple of the Jaguar, Palenque Palenque, Ruins

More photos and localization on interactive Google Map


Mexico, Ancient Maya City of Calakmul, Campeche

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, May 31, 2012 at 11:08:43

Location Calakmul Municipality, Campeche Province, Mexico
Coordinates N18 7 21 W89 46 59.988
Property 3,000 ha
Date of Inscription 2002

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1061 )

Calakmul, an important Maya site set deep in the tropical forest of the Tierras Bajas of southern Mexico, played a key role in the history of this region for more than twelve centuries. Its imposing structures and its characteristic overall layout are remarkably well preserved and give a vivid picture of life in an ancient Maya capital.

Photos from Landolia

Calakmul Temple I, Calakmul

More photos and localization on interactive Google Map


Mexico, Pre-Hispanic City of Chichen-Itza

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, May 21, 2009 at 13:47:48

Location Etat de Yucatan, Municipalité de Tinum, Mexico
Coordinates N20 40 0.012 W88 35 60
Type Cultural
Date of Inscription 1988

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/483 )

This sacred site was one of the greatest Mayan centres of the Yucatán peninsula. Throughout its nearly 1,000-year history, different peoples have left their mark on the city. The Maya and Toltec vision of the world and the universe is revealed in their stone monuments and artistic works. The fusion of Mayan construction techniques with new elements from central Mexico make Chichen-Itza one of the most important examples of the Mayan-Toltec civilization in Yucatán. Several buildings have survived, such as the Warriors’ Temple, El Castillo and the circular observatory known as El Caracol.

Photos from Landolia

Kukulkan, Chichen Itza Columns, Chichen Itza Serpent head, Chichen Itza

More photos and localization on interactive Google Map



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