Pueblos Magicos: Once a mining town, Real de Asientos now stands decorated with history, as well as mystery

On August 28, 2012 by MexicoToday

History, art, nature and a culture of mining come to life in Real de Asientos, Aguascalientes, Mexico. An ancient city, Real de Asientos dates back to 1548, when it was founded by the congregation of a religious group. Over the past few centuries, Real de Asientos transformed into a mining town, and then to a city of great mystery.

Visitors are encouraged to experience the grand past of Real de Asientos. The El Piojito train route traces the old mineral trail to the Galerón de los Esclavos – or Slaves’ Hall – which had been used to transport ore on the King’s Highway to San Gil. Other landmarks on this trail of history include the Miner’s Plaza, Cactus Museum and Lazymen’s Hill. The first mine discovered by the people of Real de Asientos can be seen on a tractor-pulled train ride through the wild mountains and over the Camino Real de Tierra Adentro.

Local establishments also provide a chance to glimpse this city’s history. The Guadalupe Cemetery, built in the 1600s, is the oldest cemetery in Aguascalientes. Many say that mystery veils it. Its Sanctuary was built in 1765, and is decorated with unparalleled paintings of the twelve apostles. A visit to the former Tepozán Convent, named after the patron saint of the miners, feels as if you have been transported to the monastic life of previous centuries, dating back as far as the 1600s. Walking through the narrow passages, visitors see the cells where Franciscan monks stayed. The Tepozán Museum showcases the influence of black culture in Real de Asientos, the social and religious conflicts of the area, and the myths of the Guachichil people, the land’s natives. The chilling feeling of walking along the same paths that many have traveled for centuries, and hearing the myths of the town, leave locals and visitors feeling a mysterious air surrounding the city.

Real de Asientos is alive with not only art and history, but also with nature. The wonders of nature can be found at the Living Plant Museum, where over 1,500 plants from 45 different species form an impressive collection. Some of the species were confiscated from plant traffickers, such as agaves, cacti and succulents. The grounds also contain an agave garden, greenhouse, cactus garden, herbarium and nursery.

If you are looking for a souvenir to remember Real de Asientos, the choice is quite clear: Pottery. The traditional pottery’s craftsmanship has become representative of Real de Asientos. The pottery includes jugs, pitchers, mugs, ashtrays, candle holders and flower pots, all handmade with clay.

The Pueblos Magicos program identifies towns that reflect “the culture of Mexico” through attributes like architecture, traditions, customs, music, gastronomy, festivities and handcrafts. There are currently 52 destinations throughout Mexico that have earned the Pueblos Magicos classification.

 

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