The Historic Center of Guadalajara stands out because of its architecturally-interesting buildings such as the Metropolitan Cathedral, the Palace of Justice, the Cabañas Cultural Institute (formerly the Hospicio Cabañas) and the Teatro Degollado. Apart from these buildings, there are four squares that form a cross, and this is called the "Calles de la Cruz." The concept was designed by architect Ignacio Diaz Morales Guadalajara, who decided to make the Cathedral the center. The four places that make up the cross are Guadalajara Square, Liberation Square, and the Rotunda of the Illustrious and Plaza de Armas. This city has a myriad of options in terms of taste and preferences due to its large size, and you can visit museums filled with history or contemplate contemporary buildings, visit the Zoo (which is my favorite in all of Mexico) or eat out in places ranging from from regional food to fine dining restaurants.
It's a little bit crowded during Mexican holidays but its genuinely beautiful, and you can go with a tour guide to get more info about the history of the church, after visiting the cathedral you can go and eat somewhere near something typical like "tortas".
The Guadalajara Zoo is a nice big place that I have loved visiting since being a boy. It has many attractions within; a safari, aviaries, herpentarios, aquariums, farms, event halls, etc. Therefore it has the variety of animals that would be expected of a Zoo. There are large predators like tigers and lions, gorillas and big favorites such as polar bears and classics like rhinos, hippos and giraffes. There are also rarer creatures such as kangaroos and koalas. The "safari" was recently added to the experience, which is only a short walk to a van where you can get very close to animals such as giraffes, rhinos, ostriches, etc.. But not really a safari as such as obviously the animals are not in their own environment.
When I visted Hospicio Cabañas, the cultural institute was offering an exhibition of the works of Eduardo Sarabia exploring cultural identity and transnationalism through intense research into the stories and myths of communities. The exhibition included about 90 works made over the last decade in different formats: sculpture, ceramics, installation, drawing, painting, video and photography. Some pieces had previously been exhibited in cities like Los Angeles and New York.
Built in 1951, next to the cathedral to pay tribute to the illustrious history of Guadalajara. The monument consists of 15 columns in a circle holding a ring with the inscription "Jalisco and its enlightened their children" (Jalisco a sus hijos esclarecidos). In the center of the monument there's a cauldron and all around are statues of famous people.
Guadalajara is a beautiful place, we had the occasion to visit with friends, and it was recommended we go to the Hospicio Cabañas, so we went to a hubicado in the center, where we saw a collection of murals by Jose Clemente Orozco upon entering. He was recognized as a muralist in 1937. I was invited to see this mural collection, today one of the most important works of art in the country. These murals detail the history of Mexico in several panels, addressing the Conquest, the Colonial, and Modern periods. In the murals, Orozco interprets the prehispanic culture shock between the indigenous and Spanish people, addresses the founding of Guadalajara and plays out tragic scenes of contemporary reality. The murals would not be complete if not for the "Man of Fire," which shows a human figure engulfed in flames. Many consider this, along with the four surrounding it, as depictions of the four elements of nature, but it could also represent the mythological metaphor of the Phoenix. When one enters this area, there are several guides that offer to explain the murals and describe some of the meanings of the work. It's really interesting and I personally loved it, so I leave you some photos of the Hospice and the murals. Enjoy it!
Puente Matute Remus is a cable-stayed bridge in Guadalajara, Mexico and forms part of the bridge system located on Calle Lazaro Cardenas and Avenida Lopez Mateos, one of the busiest streets in the city. At night, it is lit up with lights whose colors change with the seasons, but it's a pretty stunning bridge to behold day or night. It also has a skate park area and a track to do some jogging or running.
The Guadalajara visit was an experience, and among the things we found was an exhibition of the work of the sculptor Jalisiense. At the time, his work was new to me, and I went on the internet looking for it, although it seemed to recognize his name as Alejandro Colunga. Several of the sculptures had saddles, so we took advantage of the camera and posed. They really were incredible and it was impossible not to take the souvenir photo, and it wasn't forbidden...or at least there were "No sitting" ads. I really had very little doubt what to expose or anything more, but there was someone to inform you, with the author's name on the wall. I don't remember the legend about it, and it made it all very interesting. I'm not an art expert, the trend was surrealist and the sculpture made of bronze. I found out the exhibition traveled to various cities, and they were very interesting characters. I leave it to you to appreciate my pictures and I hope to please them as well as us.
Situated in Plaza de Armas, the Government Palace is the best example of Civil Architecture in Guadalajara. It's in the Baroque style, which started being built in the 17th century, ending at the end of the 19th. It's worth it to go in, pass by its patios and admire one of the most important Mexican murals, which is called "Lucha Social" ("Social Struggle"), in front of which is a figure of Don Miguel Hidalgo.
The idea of building a theater in Guadalajara was first floated in the 19th century and on the 5th of March, 1855, under the government of Jose Santos Degollado, the first stone was laid. The construction and design was run by the architect Jacobo Galvez. After eleven years of construction, the building was opened with the name of Teatro Alarcon, after the Mexican playwright Juan Ruiz de Alarcón y Mendoza. Subsequently it was decided to rename the theater Teatro Degollado in honor of the main promoter at the time. The building was designed in an ornate neoclassical style, influenced by similar buildings in Italy. Its dome is decorated with frescoes by Jacobo Gálvez and Gerardo Suárez alluding to the fourth verse of the Divine Comedy.
The Templo Expiatorio Del Santísimo Sacramento was built in stages from 1897 to 1972 by famous Italian Architect Boari Adamo who was brought over personally by then Mexican President Porfirio Diaz and who would go on to work on projects like Palacio de Bellas Artes and the Palacio del Correo Mayor in Mexico City. The temple is made mostly of carved stone and the doors are made of rosewood. The whole temple has a Italian Gothic style and the mosaics were even built in the Vatican's mosaic factory.
This site is situated between the Cathedral and Degollado Theatre and it's larger than the surrounding squares (Plaza de Armas and Plaza de Guadalajara). The most representative thing from this square is the statue of Miguel Hidalgo (their independence hero) and its two huge fountains, one of which is located next to the cathedral, and the other one is next to the theatre.
Touring the historic center of Guadalajara you realize the power they had religious congregations in colonial times. This church was built as a convent in the sixteenth century in the Baroque style. A highlight is its altar. Annexed to the Church, where the former convent is now the School of Music at the University of Guadalajara.
A small, yet picturesque square surrounded on one side by the Cathedral and the Government Palace of Guadalajara. It has an eye-catching French kiosk in Art Nouveau style, a building that dates back to the 19th century.
I recommend that you also visit Liberation Square in Guadalajara, which is in the front and back parts of the Cathedral.
The Government Palace was built in the mid-nineteenth century in the great architectural tradition of colonial Guadalajara. Inside you can also see the typical mural (on the foundation of the city). It is located in the plaza of Guadalajara, next to the cathedral and the rotunda of Illustrious Jalisco.
The stadium of the famous Chivas de Guadalajara, one of the most popular teams in Mexico. The masses of people here generate a fantastic atmosphere at this great stadium, which will host the Panamericanos Games in 2011.
Many of the essential things to do in Guadalajara are found in the historic city center, near the Cathedral of the Assumption of Mary. Other important religious Guadalajara attractions are the Light of the World Church, which is considered the largest church in Latin America, and the Church of St. Francis of Assisi. South of the cathedral, the Plaza de Armas and the Government Palace are more interesting places to visit in Guadalajara. Do not miss the spectacular mural of the main staircase, painted by artist José Clemente Orozco. North of the cathedral you'll find other stuff to do in Guadalajara like the Rotunda of Illustrious Jalisco, Liberation Square, and the Degollado Theater, the oldest opera house in Mexico.
Other interesting things to see in Guadalajara are the Hospicio Cabañas, the regional museum, and the Pantheon of Bethlehem. One of the most famous visual icons of the city is the Arch of Guadalajara, the old entrance to the city, which is found very close to the square of La Minerva, the largest fountain of Guadalajara.
Also known as the City of Roses, Guadalajara is the city in Mexico with the most green areas and gardens, so there are plenty of Guadalajara activities outdoors. Some of the most popular are the Mirador Independence Park and the botanical garden. Other attractions in Guadalajara are Lake Chapala and the Sentinel Zapopan Forest. Browse among the recommendations of minube users and make your list of what to do in Guadalajara.