With the Coronavirus pandemic upon us, I was at first reluctant to continue my series of photographs from our trip to Guadalajara, Mexico earlier this year. But with the future of travel still so uncertain, I figured this might be the perfect time to share travel photographs (scroll down the page for links to the previous posts). Today we’ll take a look at the Palacio de Gobierno (Government Palace) of the State of Jalisco, in the historic center of Guadalajara, Mexico. The palace in these particular photographs began its construction in 1750 and was inaugurated in 1790. The original Government Palace dates back to 1650 but was destroyed by an earthquake in 1750. During the 19th century it housed the Mexican parliament and is the only building in the historic center created exclusively as a fortress for safekeeping.
The building’s baroque façade was constructed in 1774 and is where Mexican freedom fighter Miguel Hidalgo issued his decree abolishing slavery in 1810. Its builders were Manuel José Conique and Nicolás Enrique del Castillo, by order of Governor Don José de Basarte. The building, made with golden stone of Huentitán (a fine grained, honey-colored, oolitic limestone which, being soft and easily worked, was preferred for many of Guadalajara’s finest buildings), retains its baroque style and is home to some of Mexico’s most stunning murals (scroll down for details).
The palace is open to the public Monday to Friday from morning until evening (under normal Coronavirus-free circumstances). Entry is free and you can take tours with an English-speaking guide. The Palacio de Gobierno is located in Guadalajara’s historic center, towards the north of the city. It is walking distance from the Guadalajara Cathedral and the Teatro Degollado (both of which were also walking distance from the Hotel de Mendoza, where we stayed) and it’s a must-see attraction in the charming city of Guadalajara.
Enjoy the photographs…
Even the front doors of the palace were a sight to behold…
At the top of the main staircase that leads you up to the second floor of the palace, you will see the famous portrait of the liberator of Mexico, Miguel Hidalgo, painted by one of Mexico’s most acclaimed artists José Clemente Orozco (1883-1949). The majestic 400 square-meter mural, painted in 1937, shows Hidalgo holding a torch against the dark forces of communism and fascism.
Hidalgo is celebrated in a second mural (also by Orozco) in the building’s Chamber of Deputies, where he frees Mexico’s slaves by signing the word “libertad” (freedom)
A sculpture in the Palace’s courtyard shows Mexican poet and novelist Guillermo Prieto saving then President Benito Juárez from being shot during the War of the Reform (1857-1860) by stepping between the president and the guns of the rebelling guardsmen saying, “Los valientes no asesinan!” (“The brave do not kill!”)
Peaceful courtyard back on the first floor of the palace…
Heading out of the Palace, you can see the Plaza de Armas across the street…
Just across from the Palacio is the Catedral Basílica de la Asunción de María Santísima, aka the Guadalajara Cathedral
The Plaza de Armas, built in the late 19th century, is the main square in Guadalajara’s historic center.
View of the Palacio de Gobierno from across the Plaza de Armas
Guadalajara was an absolutely lovely city to explore and a fresh change of pace from bustling Mexico City (not that there’s anything wrong with that – just saying its bustling). If you haven’t considered Mexico’s second largest city as a travel destination, the upcoming series of photographs will surely convince you to do so (if these haven’t already done that). Stay tuned for more from Guadalajara, Lake Chapala (Mexico’s largest freshwater lake), the arts and shopping village of Tlaquepaque and Los Guachimontones, a UNESCO World Heritage site an hour’s drive from Guadalajara.