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Historic Centre of Zacatecas

Historic Centre of Zacatecas

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.

Centre historique de Zacatecas

Fondée en 1546 peu après la découverte d'un très riche filon d'argent, Zacatecas a dû à l'exploitation du métal précieux un essor économique qui a connu son apogée aux XVIe et XVIIe siècles. Construite sur des terrains très pentus dans une vallée étroite, son panorama est d'une beauté saisissante. Elle conserve de très nombreux bâtiments anciens, religieux et civils. Sa cathédrale (1730-1760), qui domine le cœur de la ville, est exceptionnelle par l'harmonie de sa conception et par la profusion baroque de ses façades où se côtoient des éléments décoratifs européens et indigènes.

وسط زاكاتيكاس التاريخي

تأسَّست زاكاتيكاس في العام 1546 بعد اكتشاف أحد أغنى أعراق معادن الفضّة. وهي تدين لاكتشاف هذا المعدن الثمين ازدهارها الاقتصادي الذي وصل الى ذروته في القرنَيْن السادس عشر والسابع عشر. بُنيت زاكاتيكاس على أراضٍ منحدرة جداً في وادٍ ضيقٍ حيث المنظر الطبيعي يحبس الأنفاس. وهي تحافظ على مبانٍ عديدة قديمة دينية ومدنية. أما الكاتدرائية (1730 – 1760) التي تطل على قلب المدينة، فهي فريدة بالفعل من خلال التناسق في الابتكار وفي اللّمسة الباروكية لواجهاتها حيث تتخالط العناصر الزخرفية الأوروبيّة والمحليّة.

source: UNESCO/ERI

萨卡特卡斯历史中心

萨卡特卡斯城建于1546年,因为当时在这里发现了一个储量丰富的银矿。该城在16世纪至17世纪达到了繁荣顶点。萨卡特卡斯城建造在一个狭窄河谷的陡坡上,周围环境景色怡人,城中保留有许多古老的宗教建筑和民居建筑。建于1730年到1760年间的大教堂占据了城镇的中心位置,它以其和谐的设计以及教堂正面的巴洛克风格而闻名,来自欧洲的装饰品和当地的饰物被安放在一起,体现出别具特色的美。

source: UNESCO/ERI

Исторический центр города Сакатекас

Основанный в 1546 г. после открытия богатых серебряных залежей, Сакатекас достиг вершины своего процветания в период XVI-XVII вв. В городе, построенном на крутых склонах узкой долины, открываются потрясающие виды; в нем есть также много старых зданий, как культовых, так и общественных. Кафедральный собор, построенный между 1730 и 1760 гг., доминирует над центром города. Он выделяется своим гармоничным обликом и обилием барочных деталей в оформлении фасадов, где переплетаются европейские и индейские декоративные элементы.

source: UNESCO/ERI

Centro histórico de Zacatecas

La ciudad de Zacatecas se fundó en 1546, poco después del descubrimiento de un rico filón de plata, y prosperó gracias a la explotación de este metal precioso, alcanzando su apogeo en los siglos XVI y XVII. Edificada en la escarpada ladera de un estrecho valle, el panorama que ofrece es de una belleza impresionante. Conserva numerosos edificios antiguos, tanto religiosos como civiles, dominados por la silueta de la catedral, construida entre 1730 y 1760. Este templo es una obra arquitectónica excepcional por la armonía de su trazado y la profusa ornamentación barroca de sus fachadas, en las que se combinan los motivos decorativos europeos con los indígenas.

source: UNESCO/ERI

サカテカス歴史地区

source: NFUAJ

Historisch centrum van Zacatecas

Zacatecas werd in 1546 gesticht na de ontdekking van een rijke zilverertsader. De stad was een van de belangrijkste mijnbouwsteden van Nieuw Spanje en had haar hoogtepunt van welvaart in de 16e en 17e eeuw. Zacatecas is gebouwd op de steile hellingen van een smalle vallei en heeft een adembenemend uitzicht. In het historisch centrum zijn veel oude gebouwen te vinden, zowel religieuze als burgerlijke. De kathedraal – gebouwd tussen 1730 en 1760 – domineert het centrum van de stad. Hij is opmerkelijk vanwege zijn harmonieuze vormgeving en de barokke overdaad van de gevels, waarop Europese en inheemse elementen naast elkaar voorkomen.

Source: unesco.nl

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Historic Centre of Zacatecas © Nick Leonard
Outstanding Universal Value

Brief Synthesis

The Historic Centre of Zacatecas, located in the south central part of the state of Zacatecas, between the Bufa and Grillo hills was 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 many historic buildings, both religious and civil. With Guanajuato, Zacatecas is among the most important mining towns of New Spain. It was a major centre of silver production, and also of colonization, evangelization and cultural expansion. The townscape of the ancient centre is moulded to the topography of the steep valley in which it is situated and is of outstanding beauty. The Historic Centre of Zacatecas has almost completely preserved of the urban design in the sixteenth century, taken as a basis for further development in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The peculiar and representative architecture of the 18th and 19th century make the city a clear hierarchy among the major work by volume and modest buildings.

The historic area comprises 15 religious complexes, mainly of the 17th and 18th centuries, among them the convents of San Juan de Dios, San Francisco, San Augustín and Santo Domingo. The cathedral (1730-60) is a highly decorated Baroque structure with exceptional facades and other features that reflect the absorption of indigenous ideas and techniques into Roman Catholic iconography. The Jesuit church of Santo Domingo has a quiet beauty which contrasts with the Baroque flamboyance of the college alongside it. Its massive dome and towers provide a counterpoint to the nearby cathedral. It now houses a new Fine Art Museum.

Important secular buildings include the 18th-century Mala Noche Palace, the Calderón Theatre of 1834, the iron-framed Gonzalez Market of 1886, and the pink stone Governor's Residence. Quarters, named after trades or local topography, contain fine examples of humbler urban architecture from the 17th century onwards.

The Historic Centre of Zacatecas is a typical model of urbanization based on the irregular topography of a narrow glen. Today, the city of Zacatecas retains a wealth documentary that illustrates a significant stage in the history of Mexico and humanity as well, as monumental architectural styles that blend together, achieving an exceptional value.

Criterion (ii) : Zacatecas was one of the principal centres of silver mining from the early Spanish period until the 20th century and its architecture and layout reflect its economic importance and the resultant cultural flourishing which influenced developments in these fields in central and North America.

Criterion (iv) : Zacatecas is an outstanding example of a European colonial settlement that is perfectly adapted to the constraints imposed by the topography of a metalliferous mountain range.

Integrity

The inscribed property has an area of 110 ha. In general, the morphology of the urban trace of the historical centre has not significantly changed. The property includes all the component to illustrate the variety and diversity of its buildings and physical components of its natural environment that convey its Outstanding Universal Value. Some sectors are vulnerable given the inadequate control of development, particularly in regard to new construction which alters the landscape settings and erodes the physical fabric of the property. The protection and management of the property must address these conditions holistically to ensure the conservation of historic buildings, of the original urban structure and of the cultural and historical memory.

Authenticity

The original street pattern of the town has been preserved intact and, because of the economic decline over much of the 20th century, there have been very few modern interventions among the buildings. Development has been controlled to a certain extent and restoration work has followed high standards and bee closely supervised by the Federal, State and Municipal bodies.

Today, the Historic Centre of Zacatecas currently stands out for its magnificent architectural buildings as well as the trace of its streets and squares.

Protection and management requirements

The public and religious buildings are in Federal Government ownership; of the remainder some belong to the State of Zacatecas or to the municipality of Zacatecas and others are in private ownership. The main protection comes from the Federal Law on Monuments and Archaeological, Historic and Artistic Zones of 1972. The Historic Zone of Zacatecas is under the control of the State Government by Law no 60 (1987),  Law on the Protection and Conservation of Monuments and Typical States of Zacatecas, which comes into force in 1965 and in 2007 published the Partial Program Rules of the Historic Centre of Zacatecas.

The conservation, supervision and management systems for most of the components are adequate and the supervisory role of INAH, together with the Junta de Monumentos and the Ayuntamiento (Federal, State and Local Authorities) is appropriate. They cooperate together in a Management Plan for this site.  

Long Description

With Guanajuato, Zacatecas is among the most important mining towns of New Spain. It was a major centre of silver production, and also of colonization, evangelization and cultural expansion. The townscape of the ancient centre is moulded to the topography of the steep valley in which it is situated and is of outstanding beauty. Zacatecas is situated in the narrow valley of the Rio de la Plata, at an altitude of 2,400 m. The main north-south street, with two parallel streets, branches into two to the south, and these are linked by narrow lanes, often opening out into small plazas. Many are steep or at different levels, and there is considerable reverting and terracing.

Zacatecas was founded in 1546, following the discovery of the very rich San Bernabé silver lode. This was to be followed later by working of the Veta Grande, Panuco and Albarrada lodes in the same massif. The town developed to the south of the mining area, on the road from the capital of New Spain. It centred on the present day San Agustín quarter, where the first church was built, with houses along the Calle Real, now Arroyo del Plata, the present main street. Unlike other Spanish colonial towns, the street layout of Zacatecas was irregular because of the need for communication between the mines and the ore-working sites, which determined the sitting in a steep valley.

The silver mining activities were so extensive that by 1550 there were 34 mines in operation. In 1588 the Spanish Crown granted Zacatecas the title of city and a coat-of-arms. The discovery of the Guanajuato lode shortly afterwards led to the construction of the Silver Road to link the two centres to the capital of the colony, Mexico City. By 1630 more than 60% of the silver exported from the Spanish colony moved along this road. The resulting wealth led to the embellishment of both cities with fine public and private buildings.

Zacatecas became the economic centre for the region, with a system of forte (presidios ), villages and agricultural estates (haciendas ) for defence and supply. It was also the base for colonization and the spread of Christianity further to the north; first the Convent of San Francisco and later the College of Guadalupe were responsible for establishing over 70 missions, as far north as Texas and California.

The apogee of silver production in Zacatecas was in the 16th and 17th centuries, but then it was overtaken by Guanajuato, although it retained an important role as the site of a mint. Silver production continued after independence, despite the interruption of the 1910 Revolution, during which it was the site of a major battle in 1914, but it fell off as the century progressed, to the extent that Zacatecas was not included in the new communications network being developed. As a result of this economic decline, the city has retained many of its original urban features.

The historic area comprises 15 religious complexes, mainly of the 17th and 18th centuries, among them the convents of San Juan de Dios, San Francisco, San Augustín and Santo Domingo. The cathedral (1730-60) is a highly decorated Baroque structure with exceptional facades and other features that reflect the absorption of indigenous ideas and techniques into Roman Catholic iconography. The Jesuit church of Santo Domingo has a quiet beauty which contrasts with the Baroque flamboyance of the college alongside it. Its massive dome and towers provide a counterpoint to the nearby cathedral. It now houses a new Fine Art Museum.

Important secular buildings include the 18th-century Mala Noche Palace, the Calderón Theatre of 1834, the iron-framed Gonzalez Market of 1886, and the pink stone Governor's Residence. Quarters named after trades or local topography contain fine examples of humbler urban architecture from the 17th century onwards.

Outside the town are the Sanctuary of Nuestra Señora del Patrocinio, with its observatory and loggia (1882) on the summit of La Bufa, and the Apostolic College of Propaganda Fide of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe (1707) on its eastern slope.

Source: UNESCO/CLT/WHC
Historical Description

zacatecas was founded in 1546, following the discovery of the very rich San Bernabe silver lode. This was to be followed later by working of the Veta Grande, Panuco, and Albarrada lodes in the same massif. The town developed to the south of the mining area, on the road from the capital of New Spain. It centred on the present-day San Agustin quarter, where the first church was built, with houses along the Calle Real, now Arroyo del Plata, the present main street. Unlike other Spanish colonial towns, the street layout of Zacatecas was irregular, because of the need for communication between the mines and the ore-working sites, which determined the siting in a steep valley.

The silver mining activities were so extensive that by 1550 there were 34 mines in operation. In 1588 the Spanish Crown granted Zacatecas the title of city and a coat-of-arms. The discovery of the Guanajuato lode shortly afterwards led to the construction of the Silver Road to link the two centres to the capital of the colony, Mexico City. By 1630 more than 60% of the silver exported from the Spanish colony was moved along this road. The consequent wealth resulted in the embellishment of both cities with fine public and private buildings.

Zacatecas became the economic centre for the region, with a system of forts (presidios), villages, and agricultural estates (haciendas) for defence and supply. It was also the base for colonization and the spread of Christianity further to the north; first the Convent of San Francisco and later the College of Guadalupe were responsible for establishing over 70 missions, as far north as Texas and California.

The apogee of silver production in Zacatecas was in the 16th and 17th centuries, but then it was overtaken by Guanajuato, although it retained an important role as the site of a mint. Silver production continued after Independence, despite the interruption of the 1910 Revolution, during which it was the site of a major battle in 1914, but it fell off as the century progressed, to the extent that Zacatecas was not included in the new communications network being developed. As a result of this economic decline, the city has retained many of its original urban features.

Source: Advisory Body Evaluation