Pachuca, formally Pachuca de Soto is the capital of the Mexican
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

States of Mexico
The United Mexican States is a federal republic formed by 32 federal entities .According to the Constitution of 1917, the states of the federation are free and sovereign. Each state has their own congress and constitution, while the Federal District has only limited autonomy with a local Congress...

 of Hidalgo. It is located in the south-central part of the state. Pachuca de Soto
Pachuca (municipality)
Pachuca de Soto is one of the Municipalities of Hidalgo in central Mexico. Its seat is the city Pachuca. The current municipal president is Geraldina García Gordillo, of the Institutional Revolutionary Party....

 is also the name of the municipality of which the city serves as municipal seat. Pachuca is located about 90 km from Mexico City
Mexico City
Mexico City is the Federal District , capital of Mexico and seat of the federal powers of the Mexican Union. It is a federal entity within Mexico which is not part of any one of the 31 Mexican states but belongs to the federation as a whole...

 via Highway 85.

The name Pachuca has been traced to several possible etymologies and has been much debated. It has been traced to the word “pachoa,” meaning strait or opening, “Pachoacan,” meaning place of government, or place of silver and gold, and “patlachuican,” meaning place of factories or tears. The official name of Pachuca is Pachuca de Soto in honor of congressman Manuel Fernando Soto, who is given credit for the creation of Hidalgo state. Its nickname of “La bella airosa” (Beautiful Airy City) comes from the strong winds that blow into the valley through the canyons to the north of the city.
The area had been long inhabited but except for some green obsidian
Obsidian is a naturally occurring volcanic glass formed as an extrusive igneous rock.It is produced when felsic lava extruded from a volcano cools rapidly with minimum crystal growth...

, but the mining that Pachuca is famous for began in the mid-16th century, during Spanish colonial rule. Pachuca remained a major mining center until the mid-20th century, with the city’s fortunes going up and down with the health of the mining sector. In the mid-20th century, a major downturn in mining pushed Pachuca to change its economy to industry, with the revamping of the Universidad Autónoma de Hidalgo. Today, mining is only a fraction of the municipality’s economy.

One cultural aspect that makes Pachuca stand out is the influence that Cornish
Cornish people
The Cornish are a people associated with Cornwall, a county and Duchy in the south-west of the United Kingdom that is seen in some respects as distinct from England, having more in common with the other Celtic parts of the United Kingdom such as Wales, as well as with other Celtic nations in Europe...

 miners who immigrated here in the 19th century have had. Many of their descendents remain in Pachuca and nearby Real del Monte, as well as two heritages that define the city, soccer and a dish called “pastes.”


Evidence of early human habitation in this area is found in Cerro de las Navajas and Zacualtián, in the Sierra de Pachuca. Here primitive mines to extract green obsidian, arrow heads, scraping tools and mammoth
A mammoth is any species of the extinct genus Mammuthus. These proboscideans are members of Elephantidae, the family of elephants and mammoths, and close relatives of modern elephants. They were often equipped with long curved tusks and, in northern species, a covering of long hair...

 remains can be traced back as far as 12,000 BCE. An ancient pre-Hispanic obsidian tool-making center has also been fund the in the small town of San Bartolo near the city. Around 2,000 BCE nomadic groups here began to be replaced by sedentary peoples who formed farming villages in an area then known as Itzcuincuitlapilco, of which the municipality of Pachuca is a part. Later artifacts from between 200 CE and 850 CE show Teotihuacan
Teotihuacan – also written Teotihuacán, with a Spanish orthographic accent on the last syllable – is an enormous archaeological site in the Basin of Mexico, just 30 miles northeast of Mexico City, containing some of the largest pyramidal structures built in the pre-Columbian Americas...

 influence with platforms and figurines found in San Bartolo and in Tlapacoya. Development of this area as a city, however, would lag behind other places in the region such as Tulancingo
Tulancingo is the second-largest city in the Mexican state of Hidalgo. It is located in the southeastern part of the state and also forms one of the 84 municipalities of Hidalgo, as well as the Archdiocese of Tulancingo...

, Tula
Tula, Hidalgo
Tula, formally, Tula de Allende, is a town and one of the 84 municipalities of Hidalgo, in central-eastern Mexico. The municipality covers an area of 305.8 km² , and as of 2005, the municipality had a total population of 93,296, with 28,432 in the town...

 and Atotonilco El Grande
Atotonilco El Grande
Atotonilco El Grande is a town and one of the 84 municipalities of Hidalgo, in central-eastern Mexico. The municipal seat lies at Atotonilco El Grande . The municipality covers an area of 426.6 km²....

, but the archeological sites here were on the trade routes among these larger cities.

After the Teotihuacan era, the area was dominated by the Chichimecas with their capital in Xaltocan
Xaltocan was a pre-Columbian city-state and island in the Valley of Mexico, located in the center of Lake Xaltocan, part of an interconnected shallow lake system which included Lake Texcoco...

, who called the area around Pachuca Njunthé. Later, the Chichimecas would found the dominion of Cuauhtitlán pushing the native Otomi
Otomi people
The Otomi people . Smaller Otomi populations exist in the states of Puebla, Mexico, Tlaxcala, Michoacán and Guanajuato. The Otomi language belonging to the Oto-Pamean branch of the Oto-Manguean language family is spoken in many different varieties some of which are not mutually intelligible.One of...

s to the Mezquital Valley. These conquests coalesced into a zone called Cuautlalpan, of which Pachuca was a part. Fortifications in the area of Pachuca city and other areas were built between 1174 and 1181.
This dominion would eventually be overrun by the Aztec Triple Alliance
Aztec Triple Alliance
The Aztec Triple Alliance, or Aztec Empire began as an alliance of three Nahua city-states or "altepeme": Tenochtitlan, Texcoco, and Tlacopan...

 between 1427 and 1430, with rule in Pachuca then coming from the city of Tenochtitlan. According to tradition, it was after this conquest that mineral exploitation began here and in neighboring Real del Monte, at a site known as Jacal or San Nicolás. The Aztec governing center was where Plaza Juárez in Pachuca city is now.

The Spanish arrived here in 1528, killing the local Aztec governor, Ixcóatl. Credit for the Spanish conquest of the Pachuca area has been given Francisco Téllez, an artilleryman who came to Mexico with Hernán Cortés
Hernán Cortés
Hernán Cortés de Monroy y Pizarro, 1st Marquis of the Valley of Oaxaca was a Spanish Conquistador who led an expedition that caused the fall of the Aztec Empire and brought large portions of mainland Mexico under the rule of the King of Castile in the early 16th century...

 in 1519. He and Gonzalo Rodriguez were the first Spaniards here, constructing two feudal estates, and calling the area Real de Minas de Pachuca. Téllez was also given credit for laying out the colonial city of Pachuca on the European model but this story has been proven false, with no alternative version.
Mining resources were not discovered here until 1552, and there are several versions of this story. The most probable comes from a work called “Descripción Anónima de la Minas de Pachuca” (Anonymous Description of the Mines of Pachuca) written between the end of the 16th century and the beginning of the 17th. This work claims that the first mineral deposits were found by Alonso Rodríguez de Salgado on his ranch on the outskirts of Pachuca in two large hills called Magdalena and Cristóbal. This discovery would quickly change the area’s economy from agriculture to one dependent almost completely on mining.

As soon as 1560, the population of the city had tripled to 2,200 most employed in mining in some way. Because of this rapid growth, and the ruggedness of the terrain, it was impossible to lay out an orderly set of streets. The first main plaza was placed next to the Asunción Parish, which is now the Garden of the Constitution. Next to the “Cajas Reales” (Royal Safe) was constructed to guard the fifth that belonged to the king.

In 1555, on the Purísima Concepción Hacienda, now the site of a tennis club, Bartolomé de Medina found the largest mineral deposits here as well as developed new ways of extracting minerals from ore. This caused Pachuca to grow even more with the discovery of new deposits and accelerated extraction processes. Mining operations spread to nearby areas such as Atotonilco
Atotonilco de Tula
Atotonilco de Tula is a city and one of the 84 municipalities of Hidalgo, in central-eastern Mexico. The municipality covers an area of 31 km².As of 2005, the municipality had a total population of 26,500....

, Actopan
Actopan, Hidalgo
Actopan is a city and one of the 84 municipalities of Hidalgo, in central-eastern Mexico. The municipality covers an area of 280.1 km². It is crossed by the federal road that runs from Mexico City to Nuevo Laredo and it is located 30 km northwest of Pachuca, the capital city of the state...

 and Tizayuca
Tizayuca is a town and one of the 84 municipalities of Hidalgo, in central-eastern Mexico. The municipality covers an area of 92.5 km².As of 2005, the municipality had a total population of 56,573....

. The population of the town continued to grow, leading Pachuca to be declared a city in 1813.

Mining output had waned by the 18th century but was revived by the first Count of Regla, Pedro Romero de Terreros
Pedro Romero de Terreros
Pedro Romero de Terreros , the first Count of Regla, was a mining magnate and philanthropist in 18th century Mexico.-Early life:...

, who discovered new veins of ore, mostly in nearly Real del Monte.
During the Mexican War of Independence
Mexican War of Independence
The Mexican War of Independence was an armed conflict between the people of Mexico and the Spanish colonial authorities which started on 16 September 1810. The movement, which became known as the Mexican War of Independence, was led by Mexican-born Spaniards, Mestizos and Amerindians who sought...

, the city was taken by Miguel Serrano and Vicente Beristain de Souza in 1812, which caused the mines here to be abandoned by owners loyal to Spain. The war left the Pachuca area in a state of chaos, both politically and economically. The third Count of Regla brought the first Cornish miners
Cornish people
The Cornish are a people associated with Cornwall, a county and Duchy in the south-west of the United Kingdom that is seen in some respects as distinct from England, having more in common with the other Celtic parts of the United Kingdom such as Wales, as well as with other Celtic nations in Europe...

 and technology around 1824. The Cornish took over mines abandoned by the Spanish, bringing 1,500 tones of more modern equipment from Cornwall
Cornwall is a unitary authority and ceremonial county of England, within the United Kingdom. It is bordered to the north and west by the Celtic Sea, to the south by the English Channel, and to the east by the county of Devon, over the River Tamar. Cornwall has a population of , and covers an area of...

. Cornish companies eventually dominated mining here until 1848, when the Mexican American War forced them to sell out to a Mexican company by the name of Mackintosh, Escondón, Beistegui and John Rule. Mining operations resumed in 1850, especially in the Rosario mine.
Mining operations were disrupted again by the Mexican Revolution
Mexican Revolution
The Mexican Revolution was a major armed struggle that started in 1910, with an uprising led by Francisco I. Madero against longtime autocrat Porfirio Díaz. The Revolution was characterized by several socialist, liberal, anarchist, populist, and agrarianist movements. Over time the Revolution...

 in the early 20th century. The city was first taken by forces loyal to Francisco I. Madero
Francisco I. Madero
Francisco Ignacio Madero González was a politician, writer and revolutionary who served as President of Mexico from 1911 to 1913. As a respectable upper-class politician, he supplied a center around which opposition to the dictatorship of Porfirio Díaz could coalesce...

 in 1911. General under Pancho Villa
Pancho Villa
José Doroteo Arango Arámbula – better known by his pseudonym Francisco Villa or its hypocorism Pancho Villa – was one of the most prominent Mexican Revolutionary generals....

, Roberto Martinez y Martinez entered the city in 1915. Both incursions were due to the economic importance of the mines here.
During this time, American investors came to Pachuca, again updating the mining technology used here. From 1906 to 1947 the United States Smelting, Refining and Mining Company was the primary producer here, with output reaching its peak in the 1930s. But by 1947, mining here had become too costly, because of political instability, labor disputes and low prices for silver on the world market. The company sold its interests to the Mexican government in 1965.

The decline in mining here in the mid-20th century had disastrous effects on the city. Many of the abandoned houses and other buildings were in danger of collapse. Under ownership of the Mexican government, mining came to a near standstill. However, it was also during this time that Pachuca’s economy began to shift from mining to industry. The old Instituto Científico Literario Autónomo de Hidalgo was converted to the Universidad Autónoma del Estado in 1961, which would become one of the impetuses to the growth of the city in the following years, as it turned out a better-educated and more technical workforce in areas such as law, engineering, business and medicine. In the late 1950s and through the 1960s, some growth was seen in the way of suburban developments for workers in newly built factories.

Population growth returned starting in the 1970s and continued through the 1990s because of the growth of non-mining industries as well as a development of a large student population for the state university as well as other educational institutions. Another impetus was the movement of many government offices to Pachuca with new government facilities such as the State Government Palace and the State Supreme Court built in the 1970s. Much of the city’s growth during this time was due to new housing projects, but infrastructure projects such as the new Municipal Market, the remodeling of the Plaza Benito Juárez
Benito Juárez
Benito Juárez born Benito Pablo Juárez García, was a Mexican lawyer and politician of Zapotec origin from Oaxaca who served five terms as president of Mexico: 1858–1861 as interim, 1861–1865, 1865–1867, 1867–1871 and 1871–1872...

 and the main bus station also took place.

The city

The city occupies a small valley and is almost completely surrounded by large hills, which are also covered in housing. The city centre has maintained most of its colonial-era structures, with narrow winding streets. Away from this centre is the more modern Pachuca, with warehouses, factories, supermarkets and a large football stadium called “El Huracán” (The Hurricane). The local team has won eight national and international titles here since it was built. The city proper has a population (2005) of 267,751 which is 97% of the population of the municipality. The Pachuca metropolitan area consists of the municipalities of Pachuca de Soto, Real del Monte, and Mineral de la Reforma
Mineral de la Reforma
Mineral de la Reforma is one of the 84 municipalities of Hidalgo, in central-eastern Mexico. Adjacent to Pachuca in the same built up area, it's one of the fastest growing city of Hidalgo State. As of 2005, the municipality had a total population of 68,704....

, with a combined population of 348,226 inhabitants as of 2005. Pachuca was declared the capital of Hidalgo by Benito Juárez in 1869.

City attractions

Pachuca is centre of one of the most important mining areas on Mexico, and for this reason, most of the city’s attractions are based on the mining industry. Many of these are located near Hidalgo Street, which is one of the oldest in Pachuca and runs alongside the arcade of the main plaza (Plaza de la Constitución) to Hidalgo Park. The oldest markets and houses are also located on this street, many of which are well-preserved.

The Reloj Monumental or Monumental Clock is the icon of the city. Donated by Cornishman, Francis Rule, it was built to commemorate the Centennial of Mexico’s Independence, and was inaugurated on 15 September 1910 (Noche de Grito) . The base of the Reloj was made originally for a kiosk
Kiosk is a small, separated garden pavilion open on some or all sides. Kiosks were common in Persia, India, Pakistan, and in the Ottoman Empire from the 13th century onward...

 but it was decided to put the clock here instead. A group from the city had the idea for the clock, and they, along with Mexican embassador Jesús Zenil arranged to have the same company that built Big Ben, construct the inner workings. The outer monument portion is Mexican-made and was supervised by engineers Francisco Hernández and Luis Carreón. It is a tower with four parts in Neoclassic style
Neoclassical architecture
Neoclassical architecture was an architectural style produced by the neoclassical movement that began in the mid-18th century, manifested both in its details as a reaction against the Rococo style of naturalistic ornament, and in its architectural formulas as an outgrowth of some classicizing...

, constructed of white “cantera” stone with a height of 40 meters. In the middle there are four sculpted faces of women done in marble by Carrara, which symbolise the Reform, Liberty, Independence and Constitution.
The Church and ex monastery of San Francisco was begun in 1596 and the church was completed around 1660. The facade is Baroque style
Baroque architecture
Baroque architecture is a term used to describe the building style of the Baroque era, begun in late sixteenth century Italy, that took the Roman vocabulary of Renaissance architecture and used it in a new rhetorical and theatrical fashion, often to express the triumph of the Catholic Church and...

 and the interior conserves aspects of its 16th century origins, such as the groin vault
Groin vault
A groin vault or groined vault is produced by the intersection at right angles of two barrel vaults. The word groin refers to the edge between the intersecting vaults; cf. ribbed vault. Sometimes the arches of groin vaults are pointed instead of round...

. The sacristy
A sacristy is a room for keeping vestments and other church furnishings, sacred vessels, and parish records.The sacristy is usually located inside the church, but in some cases it is an annex or separate building...

 has a beautiful ritual sinks in sculpted stone, one of which is decorated with Talavera
Talavera (pottery)
Talavera pottery of Puebla, Mexico is a type of majolica pottery, which is distinguished by a milky-white glaze. Authentic Talavera pottery only comes from the city of Puebla and the nearby communities of Atlixco, Cholula, and Tecali, because of the quality of the natural clay found there and the...

 tile from Puebla
Puebla officially Estado Libre y Soberano de Puebla is one of the 31 states which, with the Federal District, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is divided in 217 municipalities and its capital city is Puebla....

, as well as paintings depicting the genealogy and life of Francis of Assisi
Francis of Assisi
Saint Francis of Assisi was an Italian Catholic friar and preacher. He founded the men's Franciscan Order, the women’s Order of St. Clare, and the lay Third Order of Saint Francis. St...

. The church itself contains oils by well-known artists from the 18th century. The adjoining cloister was finished in 1604. It has not been a monastery for many years, and has had a number of uses. It was greatly deteriorated until it was recently restored and to be the site of the Centro Cultural Hidalgo. Much of the complex is now occupied the Photographic Library of INAH, Museum of Photography and the Regional Museum. The photography museum contains antique photography equipment as well as works by known photographers such as Guillermo Kahlo
Guillermo Kahlo
Carl Wilhelm Kahlo was a German photographer and father of artist Frida Kahlo, who painted his portrait....

 and Tina Modotti
Tina Modotti
Tina Modotti was an Italian photographer, model, actress, and revolutionary political activist.- Early life :Modotti was born Assunta Adelaide Luigia Modotti Mondini in Udine, Friuli, Italy...

. To the east of the ex-monastery is the Bartolomé de Medina Park, which fronts the School of Arts and the City Theater. Behind the Church of San Francisco is the Chapel of Nuestra Señora de la Luz. Built between the 17th and 18th century, it contains the only Churrigueresque
Churrigueresque refers to a Spanish Baroque style of elaborate sculptural architectural ornament which emerged as a manner of stucco decoration in Spain in the late 17th century and was used up to about 1750, marked by extreme, expressive and florid decorative detailing, normally found above the...

 altar in the city. This altar also contains the remains of the Count of Regla, Pedro Romero de Terreros.

The Asunción Church is the oldest in the city, constructed in 1553, and remodeled several times, with major reconstruction in 1719. The Asunción Chapel has an entrance with two levels. The lower one contains the door and has a round arch, flanked by two pilasters and a Baroque architrave
An architrave is the lintel or beam that rests on the capitals of the columns. It is an architectural element in Classical architecture.-Classical architecture:...

. The upper level has a choir window, with a niche above and topped by a pediment
A pediment is a classical architectural element consisting of the triangular section found above the horizontal structure , typically supported by columns. The gable end of the pediment is surrounded by the cornice moulding...

. The bell tower also has two levels, both with round arches.
Located in front of the main plaza, the Bancomer Building is of Neoclassic design, constructed in 1902. It was first occupied by the Mercantil Bank, then by the Hidalgo Bank and then was converted into the Niágara Hotel. Today, it has returned to being a bank. It has a notable facade of brown cantera stone, lightly sculpted, with a keystone
Keystone (architecture)
A keystone is the wedge-shaped stone piece at the apex of a masonry vault or arch, which is the final piece placed during construction and locks all the stones into position, allowing the arch to bear weight. This makes a keystone very important structurally...

 in the form of a parchment, cornice
Cornice molding is generally any horizontal decorative molding that crowns any building or furniture element: the cornice over a door or window, for instance, or the cornice around the edge of a pedestal. A simple cornice may be formed just with a crown molding.The function of the projecting...

, Ionic columns and geometric designed in the upper parts. It is topped by a pediment which contains the figure of a lion.

The Cajas Reales was where miners paid a 20% share of their extractions to the Spanish Crown. It not only collected the taxes, it was the only place that sold the mercury
Mercury (element)
Mercury is a chemical element with the symbol Hg and atomic number 80. It is also known as quicksilver or hydrargyrum...

 needed to extract silver from ore as a monopoly of the state. It was constructed in the 17th century by viceroy Sebastián de Toledo Márquez Mancera
Antonio Sebastián de Toledo, 2nd Marquis of Mancera
Antonio Sebastián de Toledo Molina y Salazar, 2nd Marquis of Mancera, Grandee of Spain was a Spanish nobleman and diplomat who served as Viceroy of New Spain from October 15, 1664 to December 8, 1673.-Early life:...

. It is a two-story building with a central patio. The facade contains two towers that flank the main entrance and the north side to serve as guard stations for the building. It has housed the offices of the Compañía Real del Monte y Pachuca since 1850. Emperor Maximillian I stayed here when he visited the city in 1865.
The Methodist Church dates from the beginning of the 20th century and is easily distinguished by its Neogothic style. It remains a Protestant church and contains the Julián Villagrán School. It is considered one of the most important buildings of its kind in the state.

The Casa Colorado, which was part of the hacienda of the Conde de Regla, was constructed in the 18th century. It has an austere facade of a reddish colour, which gives the house its name. The building used to have an interior courtyard, but this has been destroyed, along with its Gothic
Gothic architecture
Gothic architecture is a style of architecture that flourished during the high and late medieval period. It evolved from Romanesque architecture and was succeeded by Renaissance architecture....

 arches. In 1886, Governor Francisco Cravioto acquired this building to house judicial offices. The building remained connected to the judiciary through the mid-20th century. Many of the streets that connect to Hidalgo Street near here are named after notable lawyers and judges.
The Museo de Minería (Museum of Mining) is located on Mina Street in a manor that dates from the 19th century, called the Cajas de San Rafael. The full name of the institution is the Archivo Historico y Museo de Minería, and contains documents that trace the history of mining here from 1556 to 1967, and the more than a billion ounces of silver and the five million ounces of gold that have been extracted from the state of Hidalgo during that time. The mansion is constructed of cantera stone and occupies a space of 950m2. The museum has three exhibition halls, a covered courtyard and a garden which contains mining machinery. such as a steam shovel, a winch and a truck used for transport of ore. The exhibition halls contain displays relating to how minerals are found in nature and the tools and processes used to extract them. It also houses a large collection of documents, a library and a photography laboratory. The documentation contained here was rescued starting in 1987. In 1993, the current site was renovated to house the collection. The collection also includes miners’ personal effects, as well as artworks relating to mining.

A related museum, the Museo de Mineralogía (Museum of Mineralogy) belongs to the Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Hidalgo. It is housed in the old Hospital de San Juan de Dios, which was built and operated by monks until 1869 when the state converted the building into the Instituto Literario y Esuela de Artes y Oficios. The museum exhibits a large collection of mineral simples from the region.
The Conde Rule House, located on Leandro Valle and Morelos Streets, dates from the late 19th century. It is a two-story building constructed at the end of the 19th century. The main entrance is flanked by two pilasters and topped with a pediment with reliefs made of shells. It belonged to a rich Cornish miner by the name of Francis Rule. Today it is the Municipal Palace.

In the centre of the city, there used to be an English neighbourhood. All that is left of this is a British consulate which is located in a house built at the beginning of the 20th century. The city has the Panteón Inglés (English Cemetery), which includes the tombs of many of Pachuca’s English/Cornish-origin residents including Richard Bell, who has been mistakenly identified as the famous a clown “who made Porfirio Díaz
Porfirio Díaz
José de la Cruz Porfirio Díaz Mori was a Mexican-American War volunteer and French intervention hero, an accomplished general and the President of Mexico continuously from 1876 to 1911, with the exception of a brief term in 1876 when he left Juan N...

 laugh.” In reality, the comic of the same name died and was buried in New York in 1911, whilst the tomb refers to a miner of the same name.

Other cultural attractions in the city include the Historic Museum is in the Civic Centre of the State Congress and focuses the history of the state through photographs and documents. Its collection is divided into State History and National History. The Museo El Rehilete is an interactive museum for children with exhibits on archeology, botany, other sciences and the arts. The Universidad de Fútbol (Football University) is the only training facility of its kind in the Americas and one of few in the world. On the edge of the city is the Mina de Acosta, which is still active, but barely, for each ton and a half of ore extracted, only 200 grams of silver and two grams of gold are obtained. Guided tours show how ore is extracted here from depths of about 500 meters. The Real de Monte Orfebres is located at the foot of the La Magdelena Mountain in front of the Loreto Mine. This business is an important center of exhibition and sale of silver crafts. Before, this location was the School of Silversmithing. Next to the main plaza is the Mercado de Barreteros, considered to be one of the most valuable architectural structueres in the city. The lower level is dedicated to basic necessities as food stands while the upper floor is dedicated to arts and crafts. The Monument of Christ the King is located on the Santa Apolonia Mountain and is one of the largest in Mexico.


The Universidad Autónoma de Hidalgo was constructed over the old Hospital de San Juan de Dios. It is the oldest educational institution in Hidalgo, brought into being at the same time as the state. The school was originally established as the Instituto Literario y Esuela de Artes y Oficios (Literary Institute and School of Arts and Letters) in 1869. The school was initially in a rented house but was moved to the former Hospital of San Juan de Dios in 1875. This building is now the Central Building. The school was based on positivist philosophy and the University motto of “Amor, orden y progreso” ("love, order and progress") remains to this day. The school was renamed the Universidad de Hidalgo in 1925 and again to the Universidad Autónoma de Hidalgo in 1948. The university was reorganized and expanded in 1961.

A more recently established school opened in 2003 is the Universidad Politécnica de Pachuca (Polytechnic University of Pachuca), which is mostly an engineering school. It was temporarily housed in the old Universidad Pedagógica Nacional buildings, but in 2004, the state of Hidalgo ceded the university the old Santa Barbara Hacienda, with 231 students studying classes in Mechatronics
Mechatronics is the combination of mechanical engineering, electronic engineering, computer engineering, software engineering, control engineering, and systems design engineering in order to design, and manufacture useful products. Mechatronics is a multidisciplinary field of engineering, that is...

, Information technology
Information technology
Information technology is the acquisition, processing, storage and dissemination of vocal, pictorial, textual and numerical information by a microelectronics-based combination of computing and telecommunications...

 and Biotechnology
Biotechnology is a field of applied biology that involves the use of living organisms and bioprocesses in engineering, technology, medicine and other fields requiring bioproducts. Biotechnology also utilizes these products for manufacturing purpose...

 at the new facility. New programs of study in Physical Therapy, Software engineering, Optomechatronics, Information security, Information technologies and communications.


Starting in 1824, Cornish miners and English investors came to Pachuca and the neighboring town of Real del Monte to invest and work in the mines here, founding the Compañía Real de Monte y Pachuca. Mexico's remaining Cornish community represents a largely forgotten immigrant story. In the early 19th century, miners in Cornwall were enduring economic hardships. Ships carrying 125 passengers and some 1,500 tons of equipment sailed out of Falmouth, Cornwall
Falmouth, Cornwall
Falmouth is a town, civil parish and port on the River Fal on the south coast of Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. It has a total resident population of 21,635.Falmouth is the terminus of the A39, which begins some 200 miles away in Bath, Somerset....

, landing in Veracruz
Veracruz, formally Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave officially Estado Libre y Soberano de Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave , is one of the 31 states that, along with the Federal District, comprise the 32 federative entities of Mexico. It is divided in 212 municipalities and its capital city is...

 three months later. The treacherous 300-mile trek inland killed about half of the miners and their family members, many succumbing to malaria
Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease of humans and other animals caused by eukaryotic protists of the genus Plasmodium. The disease results from the multiplication of Plasmodium parasites within red blood cells, causing symptoms that typically include fever and headache, in severe cases...

 and yellow fever
Yellow fever
Yellow fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic disease. The virus is a 40 to 50 nm enveloped RNA virus with positive sense of the Flaviviridae family....

. Those who made it settled in Pachuca and Real del Monte. The immigrants brought technology, notably the famous high-pressure steam pumping engines designed by Cornish engineer Richard Trevithick
Richard Trevithick
Richard Trevithick was a British inventor and mining engineer from Cornwall. His most significant success was the high pressure steam engine and he also built the first full-scale working railway steam locomotive...

, which turned many of the area's water-logged mines into huge silver producers. The majority of the immigrants to this region came from Cornish mining areas of Camborne
Camborne is a town and civil parish in west Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. It is at the western edge of a conurbation comprising Camborne, Pool and Redruth....

, Redruth
Redruth is a town and civil parish traditionally in the Penwith Hundred in Cornwall, United Kingdom. It has a population of 12,352. Redruth lies approximately at the junction of the A393 and A3047 roads, on the route of the old London to Land's End trunk road , and is approximately west of...

 and Gwennap
Gwennap is a village and civil parish in Cornwall, United Kingdom. It is situated approximately five miles southeast of Redruth....

. Cornish/English workers and their technology revitalized the silver industry here and miners’ remittances sent back home helped to build the Wesleyan Chapel in Redruth the 1820s.

Today the Pachuca - Real del Monte District retains much from its period of association with Cornwall and home of one of Mexico’s most enduring cross pollinations The miners' influence is obvious in architecture. Up in the hills around Pachuca, many houses feature distinctly British characteristics: thicker walls, square windows and pitched roofs. Most of Pachuca’s signature landmarks are of English/Cornish influence. The Reloj Monumental (Monumental Clock) chimes to the tune of Big Ben and was financed by Francis Rule. The city’s main Methodist church was built by Cornish miners. The English mining company’s main office as well as the residence of Francis Rule of Camborne, the last Cornish manager of Real del Monte still bears his initials. The archives of the company are now cared for by the Museo de Minería and contain detailed records of Cornish employees, especially between 1824 and 1849

The Cornish immigrants married into Mexican families and even today, Cornish surnames in this area are not uncommon as hundreds of Cornish descendents remain. One example of this is Umberto Skewes, who speaks little English but whose grandfather came to Mexico from Cornwall. Skewes is the custodian of the Cornish (English) cemetery, which contains approximately 600 graves, predominantly of Cornish miners and their families. The Cornish-Mexican Cultural Society works to build educational links between Mexico and the United Kingdom. The group has marketed Pachuca and Real del Monte as “Mexico’s Little Cornwall” through the Mexican embassy in London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...


Among the things that Cornish and English miners have introduced to Mexico are tennis, golf, rugby
Rugby football
Rugby football is a style of football named after Rugby School in the United Kingdom. It is seen most prominently in two current sports, rugby league and rugby union.-History:...

, cricket
Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of 11 players on an oval-shaped field, at the centre of which is a rectangular 22-yard long pitch. One team bats, trying to score as many runs as possible while the other team bowls and fields, trying to dismiss the batsmen and thus limit the...

 and chess. However, the two which have had the greatest impact on Pachuca’s identity are soccer and “pastes.”


In 1900, Cornish miners established the Pachuca Athletic Club, which was primarily dedicated to soccer. Their first game was played in the same year, a fact that is celebrated annually. The first team from Pachuca consisted of Charles Dawe, John Dawe, James Bennetts, John Bennetts, William Blamey, Richard Sobey, William Bragg, William Thomas, Percy Bunt, Lionel Bunt, Albert Pengelly and William Pengelly. The Pachuca club encouraged the formation of teams in Mexico City and Orizaba, the first championship of the new Liga Mexicana de Fútbol Asociación was played in 1902. Other clubs, such as the Reform Athletic Club, El British Club, F. C. and El México Cricket Club were also formed by miners. The first Mexican player appears in the ranks of the Pachuca club in 1908 and by 1915, most of the team was Mexican. Pachuca won the Copa Tower in 1908 and 1912, the precedent of the modern Mexican Cup
Copa México
The Copa México was a Mexican football cup competition that existed from 1907 to 1997. It consisted of both professional and amateur stages. It was the first official tournament that included teams from different parts of Mexico, and it was an important and prestigious tournament, especially during...

. The team disbanded in the 1920s but was re-instituted in 1951. Pachuca calls itself the “Cradle of Mexican Soccer.”


The Mexican Spanish word “paste” come from the English word pasties, which is basically a semi-circular turnover made with a pastry crust with sweet or savory fillings. Cornish miners brought the recipe with them as they made a good way to bring their midday meal with them to the mines. One feature of both pasties and pastes is that they have a thick braided edge. Originally, this was done to provide the miners a way to hold the turnover without getting the filled portion dirty, as there was no way to wash their hands before eating. The shape and pastry portion of the turnover have remained the same but today, the fillings are decidedly Mexican: mole
Mole (sauce)
Mole is the generic name for a number of sauces used in Mexican cuisine, as well as for dishes based on these sauces...

 verde, beans, mole rojo, chicken “tinga,” pineapple, rice pudding and one seasonal specialty is a lamb paste with poblano
The poblano is a mild chili pepper originating in the State of Puebla, Mexico. Dried, it is called a chile ancho . The ripened red poblano is significantly hotter and more flavorful than the less ripe, green poblano. While poblanos tend to have a mild flavor, occasionally and unpredictably, they...

 chili peppers. Pastes are a local delicacy strongly identified with both Pachuca and Real del Monte.


The Feria de Pachuca is known colloquially by several names such as the Feria Tradicional/Internacional de San Francisco, the Feria de Hidalgo and the Feria de Caballo. It is the most important annual event in the state of Hidalgo, taking place every October in facilities located in the south of Pachuca. The festival began as a liturgical event sponsored by monks at the monastery of San Francisco in the 16th century, which eventually drew dignitaries from surrounding communities. The festival sponsors a number of events such as bullfights, cockfight
A cockfight is a blood sport between two roosters , held in a ring called a cockpit. Cockfighting is now illegal throughout all states in the United States, Brazil, Australia and in most of Europe. It is still legal in several U.S. territories....

s, charreada
The charreada or charrería is a competitive event similar to rodeo and was developed from animal husbandry practices used on the haciendas of Old Mexico. The sport has been described as "living history," or as an art form drawn the demands of working life...

s, horse shows, rodeos, crafts and folk dance shows, livestock exhibitions and features regional cuisine. It also host concerts by well-known Mexican musical artists.

Other notable events in the city include the Ramón Noble Guitar Festival and the Feria Hidaltur. The first presents concerts by guitarists of various genres from countries such as Brazil, Spain, the U.S., Israel, England and Mexico. There are classes and workshops by renowned artists as well as a national level competition for classical guitar. The Feria Hidaltur is held in March and April with the purpose of promoting the arts and crafts of Hidalgo state. The festival also has equestrian events, hot-air balloons and other attractions.

The municipality

The city and municipality of Pachuca are nearly co-extensive, as the city grows to cover just about all of the available open space. This has eradicated almost all of the municipality’s native flora and fauna. The municipality contains only fifteen other communities according to the 2005 INEGI census with all but two having less than less than 1500 people, and only three percent of the municipality population of 275,578 lives outside the city proper. The overwhelming majority of the residents are Catholic but the city has a significant percentage of Protestants, mostly descendants of English miners.
The municipality is located on very rugged terrain with varies in altitude between 2,400 and 2,800 meters above sea level. It is located on the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt and the only major flat area is where the city center is. Two notable peaks are the Cerro del Cuixi, the Cerro de San Cristóbal and the Cerro de Cubitos. Rivers that cross through here are the Actopan, the Amajac and the Tezontepec. The municipality has a territory f 195,30 km2 and borders the municipalities of Mineral del Chico
Mineral del Chico
Mineral del Chico is a town and one of the 84 municipalities of Hidalgo, in central-eastern Mexico. The municipality covers an area of 118.2 km².As of 2005, the municipality had a total population of 6,714....

, Mineral del Monte, Zempoala
Zempoala, Hidalgo
Zempoala is a town and one of the 84 municipalities of Hidalgo, in central-eastern Mexico. The municipality covers an area of 305.8 km².As of 2005, the municipality had a total population of 27,333....

, Zapotlán de Juárez
Zapotlán de Juárez
Zapotlán de Juárez is a town and one of the 84 municipalities of Hidalgo, in central-eastern Mexico. The municipality covers an area of 131.1 km².As of 2005, the municipality had a total population of 16,493....

, Mineral de la Reforma, Epazoyucan
Epazoyucan is a town and one of the 84 municipalities of Hidalgo, in central-eastern Mexico. The municipality covers an area of 174.7 km².As of 2005, the municipality had a total population of 11,522....

 and San Agustín Tlaxiaca
San Agustín Tlaxiaca
San Agustín Tlaxiaca is a town and one of the 84 municipalities of Hidalgo, in central-eastern Mexico. The municipality covers an area of 354.6 km².As of 2005, the municipality had a total population of 27,118....

. The climate is temperate and relatively cold with strong winds during eight to nine months out of the year. These can reach speeds of 60–65 km an hour.

Sixty four percent of the municipality is developed urban area. Agriculture is nearly a non-existent factor in the economy as the small scale farming and livestock raising in the hills is for family or local consumption. Despite its decline in the 20th century, mining still continues to be an important element of Pachuca’s economy. Pachuca still produces more than 60% of the state’s gold and more than 50% of its silver. The manufacturing sector was established in the 1950s and has been steadily growing, changing the city’s traditional mining image. Some of the major industrial employers are Applied Power de México (automotive parts), BARROMEX (machinery), Herramientas Cleveland (machinery and tools) and Embotelladora la Minera (soft drinks). The city also contains over 800 smaller manufacturing enterprises. The municipality’s economy also has a large commercial sector, with numerous stores and thirteen public markets. It is also the wholesale center for foodstuffs for most of the state. Despite all the changes in the 20th century, the center of Pachuca has maintained its provincial feel. This has led the city to promote it as a tourist attraction.

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Bolivia officially known as Plurinational State of Bolivia , is a landlocked country in central South America. It is the poorest country in South America...

Ponferrada is a city in the province of León, Castile and León, Spain. It lies on the Sil River, a tributary of the river Miño, in the El Bierzo valley, completely surrounded by mountains. It is the last major town along the French route of the Way of St. James before it reaches its destination...

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Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

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Arkansas is a state located in the southern region of the United States. Its name is an Algonquian name of the Quapaw Indians. Arkansas shares borders with six states , and its eastern border is largely defined by the Mississippi River...

, United States
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Harrisburg is the capital of Pennsylvania. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 49,528, making it the ninth largest city in Pennsylvania...

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The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

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Camborne is a town and civil parish in west Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. It is at the western edge of a conurbation comprising Camborne, Pool and Redruth....

, Cornwall
Cornwall is a unitary authority and ceremonial county of England, within the United Kingdom. It is bordered to the north and west by the Celtic Sea, to the south by the English Channel, and to the east by the county of Devon, over the River Tamar. Cornwall has a population of , and covers an area of...

, UK Eagle Pass, Texas
Eagle Pass, Texas
Eagle Pass is a city in and the county seat of Maverick County The population was 27,183 as of the 2010 census.Eagle Pass borders the city of Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico, which is to the southwest and across the Rio Grande. The Eagle Pass-Piedras Negras Metropolitan Area is one of six...

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See also

  • Cornish pasty
  • Paste

External links

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