Tlacotalpan, Attractions Veracruz

Tlacotalpan means “in the middle of the Earth” and is located on the southeast of Veracruz State, on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. It is a river port surrounded by the Papaloapan River and was declared World Heritage by UNESCO in 1998. It is famous for its fishing tradition and the annual jarocha music festival, a mix of rhythms from Andalucía, Africa and Mesoamerica.

Even though the plains of the Papaloapan River have been inhabited since ancient times by the Totonaca and Olmeca, it frequent floods stopped the development of important prehispanic settlements.

However, when the Spanish arrived, they found thriving communities sustained by fishing and commerce in what was known as La Candelaria, the current Tlacotalpan territory.

The economic surge it acquired turned it, at the beginning of the 19th century, into a lumber and livestock center. Transportation through the river was one of its main economic activities, but declined at the start of the 20th century with the establishment of the Isthmus Railway.

Distinguished for its architecture, the Candelaria Chapel is its most significant symbol, combining a neoclassic altarpiece with Mozarabic decoration. In order to appreciate all the beauty of Tlacotalpan, we recommend you start by touring Zaragoza Park, where the San Cristobal Chapel masterfully displays the wood craft that has been practiced at Tlacotalpan for centuries, the Municipal Palace, crafts stores, art galleries and museums.

Some of its most beloved cultural sites are the Museum Agustín Lara, donated to the city by his wife and the Art Garden. Also with great affection, citizens show off the Mini-Zoo-Museum of Mr. Pío Barrán, where crocodiles, herons, turtles and pelicans roam free.

This peaceful population turns into a festival for the celebrations in honor of the Candelaria Virgin during February. This festival dates from the end of the last century, when she was taken to the river so fishermen would be successful throughout the year; an ancient tradition that is still preserved.

Outstanding among the distinguished contributors to Mexico’s history that were born at Tlacotalpan, are General Juan de la Luz Enriquez, who participated in the May 5th battle at Puebla fighting against the French Intervention; Josefa Murillo, great poet known as the “Alondra of Papaloapan”; Agustín Lara, internationally famous music writer and poet; Alberto Fuster, modernist painter; and Juan Bautista Topete, who started the revolutionary movement of 1868 in Spain, that started the Spanish marine revolt that overthrew Queen Isabel II.

Artículo Producido por el Equipo Editorial Explorando México.
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