Veracruz, Mexico is a town with a rich, beautiful history. Built in 1608, the Municipal Palace is a beautiful colonial building that’s well worth a visit. From the stylized belfry, you can watch galleons arrive in port, and be sure to check out the archways of the inner patio as well. You should also consider a visit to the House of the Town Council, the seat of the country’s oldest Town Hall.
To find out more about the city’s history, visit the Colonel Manuel Gutierrez Zamora City Museum. A comprehensive renovation project took place there in 2000, although the building’s stunning neoclassical style has been maintained. At the museum, you can learn more about the city, from the arrival of the Spaniards through modern day. You can also learn more about the native Totonaca and Olmeca peoples who are indigenous to the area. Naval history is represented at the Naval Historical Museum as well, which features scale weapons of Mexican warships, along with ancient weapons and navigation tools. For more naval history, along with spectacular Totonaca ruins, visit the Island of Sacrifices.
Another great destination is the House of the Duchess, or Patio Vergara – a splendid three-story colonial house where you’ll find the Historic Archives and Library. It’s an excellent model of the architecture of dwellings from the 18th century. Here, you can not only peruse important historical documents, but also appreciate the wonderful elaborate woodwork of the house.
Yet another museum recognizes the poet and composer Agustin Lara. In the Agustin Lara Museum, you can see his work, including photographs and paintings, along with some personal objects that belonged to “Golden Skinny.”
Or, if religious history is something that interests you, you’ll want to visit the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Asuncion. The Cathedral had humble beginnings, being founded by the Order of the Merced in 1650. At that time, it was a small wooden temple – now it’s home to Baccarat chandeliers that were once owned by emperor Maximilian of Habsburg and a temple organ made in England. There are three naves, three domes, a 40 meter tall belfry and walls that are made from shallow reef rocks. The Church of the Saint Christ of the Good Voyage is also worth seeing for its statue of Pope John Paul II.
And, of course, Veracruz is located on a beach and the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico provide moderate currents that most visitors enjoy. If you have children, consider the Costa de Oro resort. Other notable resorts in the city include the Villa del Mar, Mocambo, Regatas, and Hornos. Mocambo is a favorite, located only five kilometers from downtown Veracruz. Here, you can appreciate the beautiful beach from your towel or from horseback. But wherever you stay, be sure to head out to Boca del Rio for some wonderfully fresh seafood.
One other experience unique to Veracruz is a ride on the Streetcar of Remembrance, which starts at Historic Centre Station. Unlike other streetcars, which are electric and made from wood, these streetcars are gasoline powered, and made from truck bodies. Riding in these enchanting streetcars, you’ll have a wonderful opportunity to see the beautiful landscapes of Veracruz firsthand.