San Luis Potosi Travel Guide

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SAN LUIS POTOSI, elevation 6,157', capital of the state of the same name, dates from the late 1500s when it was established as a mining settlement. Today is is a sprawling city with more than half a million residents, and the local economy is no longer based on gold, silver, lead and copper production.

The city was seat of the national government under President Benito Juarez in 1863 and again in 1867. While here in 1854, Gonzales Bocanegra wrote the Mexican national anthem, first sung in Mexico City's Santa Anna Theater on Sept.15 of that year. The San Luis PLam, drafted by Francisco Madero while he was imprisoned in the city by dictator Porfirio Diaz, set the stage for the Revolution of 1910.

A distribution point for foreign and domestic merchandise, San Luis Potosi's atmosphere is largely industrial. Tanneries, flour mills, smelters, textile mills, breweries adn furniture factories are among the manufacturing concerns, and highwaus around the city and within the state are busy with truck traffic.

San Luis Potosi is not at all soot and smoke. It has a well-preserved colonial center, anchored by Plaza de Armas, the main square. The plaza is flanked by the city's 18th-century cathedral and the Government Palace. Among the wares on display at the Mercado Hidalgo are prized Santa Maria rebozos (shaw-like garments), which are so fine they can be pulled through a woman's wedding ring; pottery; and a candy called queso de tuna made from the fruit of the prickly pear cactus. Calle Hidalgo is a pedestrian mall flanked by some of San Luis Potosi's finest shops and stores.

The Plaza Espana bullring is on Avenida Universidad, near the southeastern corner of Alameda Park. Across from the north side of Alameda Park is the city's modern railway station, where a series of Fernand Leal frescoes depict the history of tranportation in Mexico.

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