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"Magic Town"

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Tepotzotlán is a word of Nahuatl origin that means “between humps,” probably in reference to the fact that this place is located in front of two high mountains that resemble humps.

Tepotzotlán is located in the north part of the State of Mexico, and to the northeast of the city of Toluca, 2 250 meters above sea level. It borders to the north with the municipalities of Huehuetoca and Coyotepec; to the south with Cuautitlán Izcalli and Nicholas Romero; to the east with Coyotepec, Teoloyucan and Cuautitlán Izcalli, and to the west with Villa del Carbón. There are 115 km to Toluca, the State Capital, by route number 51 Mexico - Querétaro and 45 km to the Federal District.

The town has different elevations, ranging from 2 250 to 2 900 meters above sea level, .The climate zones vary and the valley in the area is home to agriculture. The most important hydroelectric source is the dam of “La Concepción” with a capacity of 12 500 000 m3, from which derive the rivers Hondo de Tepotzotlán and the channel Margen Izquierda (Zanja Real).

As for the climate, it is tempered sub-humid with rains mainly in summer and frosts in winter. The average temperature is 16°C (60 F,) the highest being 30°C (86 F,) and the lowest 3.3°C (37 F,) with prevailing winds blowing from the northeast to the west.

The mountain range of Tepotzotlán includes a surface of 13.175 hectares, between the municipalities of Tepotzotlán and Huehuetoca; and here is a State Park and Zone of Ecological Preservation that was established in 1977. There are some mines of nonferrous materials (crushed stone) and banks of tepetate (brittle volcanic rock); besides deposits of kaolin and clay.

Visitors will find that Tepotzotlán is a beautiful “Magic town,” of colonial style, rich in history, tradition and culture, and all of this is reflected in its cobble stone streets, colorful places, and by the facades of the buildings. In the Jesuit Ex-Convent of San Francisco Javier, an important architectonical building dating from the time of the Viceroyalty, one finds the church by the same name which today functions as the National Museum of the Virreinato (Viceroyalty,) Here, there are archaeological pieces on display, objects from the Vice-royal times and important artistic works. In the center of the town there is a market where visitors will be able to enjoy all type of antojitos (snacks) and to buy crafts and souvenirs, 28 km from town is the Ecotourism Center Arcos del Sitio that offers possibilities for leisure activities and relaxation.

The Otomies were the old settlers of this region in which, later, the Teotihuacán culture developed. The Chichimecas, allies years later with the Mexicas, founded the Señorío (Viceroyalty) “independent of Tepotzotlán” in 1460. The pre-Hispanic history of Tepotzotlán culminated with the arrival of the Spaniards in 1520. The natives offered resistance to the army of Conqueror Hernán Cortés that was fleeing from Tenochtitlan, after its grand defeat known as the "Noche Triste" (sad night.)

The Franciscans started the evangelization in the XVI century, but at the end of that century the evangelization was entrusted to the Jesuits through the teaching of the children of the indigenous nobility. The Jesuits founded the novitiate and started with the construction of an impressive group of buildings that would make up the school. This construction was possible thanks to the generous contribution given to the friars by the rich merchant Pedro Ruiz Ahumada. The school in operation until the expulsion of the Jesuits in 1767, when it passed to the hands of the secular clergy; although the buildings later returned to the hands of the Jesuits, who left it definitive in 1914. In our days, this wonderful construction is home to the National Museum of the Virreinato.

Hotel El Santuario Resort and Spa

Arcos del Sitio: Located at 29 km to the northwest of the municipality, within the protected natural area of the Mountain Range of Tepotzotlán. This is a monumental aqueduct constructed by the Jesuits friars at the beginning of XVIII century in order to bring water to the Hacienda of Xalpa. The aqueduct has four levels of arcs and in the deepest part of the canyon it reaches 62 meters of height. The arcs have an overall length of 430 meters. In this area you can also find the Ecotourism and Environmental Education Center Arcos del Sitio, where diverse activities such as trekking, mountain biking and nature observations can take place. The center offers ample parking; a restaurant and a tourist mirador (excellent view of the landscape.)

Xochitla: The site, “La Resurrección,” previously a prosperous milk farm that operated for more than 60 years, is now the Foundation Xochitla A.C., where you can admire beautiful gardens, a forest, vegetables fields, a small lake, a nursery and a greenhouse where plants, trees and flowers are grown to extend the vegetation of the reserve. Xochitla’s goal is to develop in its visitors a conscience of respect and care for nature, besides of serving like a true refuge for the flora and the fauna of the region. It is located right by the entrance of the municipality and its name in Nahuatl language means: "Place where the flowers abound."

Ex Hacienda la Concepción: This is a private property that offers services such as banquets and events.

Manantial (Spring) of the Sabino: It is located in the grounds of the Hacienda San Nicolas Lanzarote.

Temple of San Francisco Javier: The complex stands in front of “the Place of Hidalgo,” where one finds a stone cross adorned with images of the Passion of Christ. Among the buildings, the Baroque Church stands out with its gorgeous facade, considered one of the three most important edifices of the art Churrigueresco in Mexico. The two other are the Santa Prisca in Taxco and the Valenciana in Guanajuato. The construction of the church began in 1670 and concluded in the first half of XVIII century, although from 1760 to 1762 the inner tower, the facade and the retables at the altar were modernized. The facade is dedicated to San Francisco Javier, whose image presides over a group of holy Jesuits. The group is in the middle of a profuse ornamentation in which they emphasize the use of the style “Estípite" in the four columns which are richly decorated and the saints that frame the porch, finishing in a unique tower; where each square centimeter is covered with golden leaves and where a group of cherubim welcomes in the visitors.

At this site, we also find the Temple of San Pedro Apostle, with its neoclassic altar covered with the Papal shield. The baroque retables by the altar were painted by Miguel Cabrera and carved by Higinio Chávez. You can also visit the Chapel of the Virgin of Loreto, with its XVIII century details, and an altar under a cupola crowned by a friso. Mirrors allow for better viewing of the decoration of the ceiling, which represents the moon, the sun, the stars and a crowd of cherubim jumping. In the center of this chapel there is a statue of the Virgin Mary, in the lantern, surrounded by the apostles at the time of the Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit descends over them. Something not to be missed is the Camarin o Shrine of the Virgin; an octagonal room dedicated the statue of the Virgin. The room is located behind the Chapel and the Reliquary of San Joseph. On the walls of the church there are 22 paintings of Cristóbal de Villapando showing the different stages in the life of San Ignacio de Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits.

Temple of San Mateo Xóloc: Like so many other religious constructions of the XVI century, this was constructed on the ruins of a teocali pre-Hispanic in 1531, the day of the celebration of San Mateo Apostle. It combines the Franciscan austerity with the styles Herreriano and Gothic Isabelino of the XVIII century. In front of the temple there is one of the most beautiful crosses in Mexico.

Every Saturday and Sunday, you can find both the traditional tianguis (market) and flea markets in which you can find all type of crafts, textiles and rustic furniture.

The most important celebrations in Tepotzotlán are: The “Patronales" on the 29 of June, festivals dedicated to San Peter and during the first week of September the celebrations to the Señor del Nicho At these religious festivals, masses and rituals are celebrated as well as a great fair with mechanical games, music and the traditional "torito" with fireworks. In December there are the famous "Pastorelas," where theater groups stage the Birth of Christ, highlighting the representative elements of the celebration with Mexican tradition and folklore.

In Tepotzotlán the visitors can taste exquisite dishes in the numerous restaurants and cafes that can be found around the main plaza or square. We recommend savoring the delicious Mexican antojitos (snacks): Quesadillas, sopes, pambazos and tacos; and the traditional Mexican kitchen and its specialties of the season.

National Museum of the Virreinato (Viceroyalty): This excellent museum, that occupies almost all the space of the old facilities of the ex- School of San Francisco Javier, contains the most important collection of objects from the colonial era of the country. In 1585, it was the novitiate of the Jesuits, a place where they studied languages, art, theology and mathematics. The accumulated treasures by the Catholic Church, during the colonial period in Mexico, are exposed in the rooms of the museum, and the museum is under the direction of the National Institute of Anthropology of History of Mexico.

The museum has a wonderful collection of twenty paintings by the famous novo-Hispanic artist Cristóbal de Villapando representing the history of San Ignacio de Loyola. The museum also exhibits important works by Juan Correa, Martin de Vos, and Miguel Cabrera, among others, as well as objects of religious and everyday use. Moreover, the museum excels with a sculpture made from wood, wax and paste of cane of maize, a collection of silver utensils, images carved in ivory and that reflect the commerce with the East, ceramics, armors, panaches, textiles, arms, furniture and an extensive historical library with more than 4 000 units which include some incunabula editions. I

In its beautiful gardens one can find the original source called “Salto de Agua” (Jump of the Water,) which finished off the old aqueduct born in Chapultepec. Other spaces of interest in the museum are: The ancient "Cloisters of the Aljibes” with paintings that relate to the life of San Ignacio de Loyola; the "Cloister of the Naranjos" with its octagonal fountain; the "Chapel Doméstica" with its beautiful cancel of inlaid wood, the called "The Crowned Nuns” dedicated to the feminine life in the convent, the kitchens, the refectory; the cold storage spaces; the basement, the patio of the kitchens; the pharmacy; the patio of the Infirmary and the orchard. The museum has in its collection nothing less than a bone of San Peter. The Museum of the Virreinato is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

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Teotihuacán Tepotzotlán
Toluca Valle de Bravo
Ç Estado de Mexico, Tepotzotlan, Plaza Hidalgo, View of the Museum of the Virreinato - Photo by Estado de Mexico
  State of Mexico, Tepotzotlan, Plaza Hidalgo, Museum of the Virreinato
Ç Estado de Mexico, Tepotzotlan, Temple of San Francisco Javier, Retablo - Photo by Estado de Mexico
  State of Mexico, Tepotzotlan, Temple of San Francisco Javier, Retable
Ç Estado de Mexico, Tepotzotlan, Temple of San Francisco Javier, Convent - Photo by Estado de Mexico
  State of Mexico, Tepotzotlan, Temple of San Francisco Javier, Convent
Ç Estado de Mexico, Tepotzotlan, Arcos del Sitio 1 - Photo by Estado de Mexico
  State of Mexico, Tepotzotlan, Arcos del Sitio
Ç Estado de Mexico, Tepotzotlan, Plaza Hidalgo, Cross - Photo by Estado de Mexico
  State of Mexico, Tepotzotlan, Plaza Hidalgo, Cross
Ç Estado de Mexico, Tepotzotlan, Vendedora de flores- Photo by Estado de Mexico
  State of Mexico, Tepotzotlan, Flowers vendor
Ç Estado de Mexico, Tepotzotlan, Temple of San Francisco Javier, Chapel Entrance - Photo by Estado de Mexico
  State of Mexico, Tepotzotlan, Temple of San Francisco Javier, Chapel
Ç Estado de Mexico, Tepotzotlan, Arcos del Sitio - Photo by Estado de Mexico
  State of Mexico, Tepotzotlan, Arcos del Sitio
Ç Estado de Mexico, Tepotzotlan, Museum of the Virreinato - Photo by Estado de Mexico
  State of Mexico, Tepotzotlan, Temple of San Francisco Javier