1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Guadalajara (Mexico)

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GUADALAJARA, an inland city of Mexico and capital of the state of Jalisco, 275 m. (direct) W.N.W. of the Federal capital, in lat. 20° 41′ 10″ N., long. 103° 21′ 15″ W. Pop. (1895) 83,934; (1900) 101,208. Guadalajara is served by a short branch of the Mexican Central railway from Irapuato. The city is in the Antemarac valley near the Rio Grande de Santiago, 5092 ft. above sea-level. Its climate is dry, mild and healthy, though subject to sudden changes. The city is well built, with straight and well-paved streets, numerous plazas, public gardens and shady promenades. Its public services include tramways and electric lighting, the Juanacatlán falls of the Rio Grande near the city furnishing the electric power. Guadalajara is an episcopal see, and its cathedral, built between 1571 and 1618, is one of the largest and most elaborately decorated churches in Mexico. The government palace, which like the cathedral faces upon the plaza mayor, is generally considered one of the finest specimens of Spanish architecture in Mexico. Other important edifices and institutions are the university, with its schools of law and medicine, the mint, built in 1811, the modern national college and high schools, a public library of over 28,000 volumes, an episcopal seminary, an academy of fine arts, the Teatro Degollado, and the large modern granite building of the penitentiary. There are many interesting churches and eleven conventual establishments in the city. Charitable institutions of a high character are also prominent, among which are the Hospicio, which includes an asylum for the aged, infirm, blind, deaf and dumb, foundlings and orphans, a primary school for both sexes, and a girls’ training school, and the Hospital de San Miguel de Belen, which is a hospital, an insane asylum, and a school for little children. One of the most popular public resorts of the city is the Paseo, a beautiful drive and promenade extending along both banks of the Rio San Juan de Dios for 11/4 m. and terminating in the alameda, or public garden. The city has a good water-supply, derived from springs and brought in through an aqueduct 8 m. long. Guadalajara is surrounded by a fertile agricultural district and is an important commercial town, but the city is chiefly distinguished as the centre of the iron, steel and glass industries of Mexico. It is also widely known for the artistic pottery manufactured by the Indians of the city and of its suburb, San Pedro. Among other prominent industries are the manufacture of cotton and woollen goods, leather, furniture, hats and sweetmeats. Guadalajara was founded in 1531 by Nuño de Guzman, and became the seat of a bishop in 1549. The Calderon bridge near the city was the scene of a serious defeat of the revolutionists under Hidalgo in January 1811. The severe earthquake of the 31st of May 1818 partially destroyed the two cathedral steeples; and that of the 11th of March 1875 damaged many of the larger buildings. The population includes large Indian and mestizo elements.