The Santa Veracruz Temple is the home of a famous image of "Our Lord of the Holy Cross" also known as a "Black Christ". This image was originally housed in the San Francisco Temple, but the increasing number of worshippers dictated the building of its own sanctuary. Construction began in 1753, but because of friction between the Franciscans and worshippers, it was not completed until 1797. Although the original plans included two towers, only one was built, containing two hexagonal bodies, pairs of columns and balconies with semicircular rails. Both bodies are topped with domes, each bearing a cross. The space that was reserved for the second tower instead has an ornate clock.
Art and culture
Toluca, being the capital of the
State of Mexico, is home of several important museums. It's second only to Mexico Cityin number of museums. Some of them honor important Mexican artists such as José María Velasco Gómez, Felipe Santiago Gutiérrez, and Luis Nishizawa, among others.
These museums are the following:
* The Museo de
Bellas Artes(Museum of Fine Arts) was founded in 1945 by the ex-governor Isidro Fabela. It is the oldest museum of Toluca. It displays art by José Juarez, Cristobal de Villalpando, Miguel Cabrera, among others. It is housed in a 18th century building that was once the "Descalced Carmelite Purísima Concepción" convent and built between 1697 and 1711. One of the most valuable pieces is a catafalquedating from the mid 18th century. Since these artifacts were almost always burned by Church authorities, this is an extremely rare piece.
* The Museo de Ciencias Naturales (Museum of Natural Sciences) has been located in
Matlatzinca Parksince 1971. It was found by the ex-governor Carlos Hank González. It presents expositions related to natural sciences. Also it holds Luis Camarena González’s collections of butterflies, insects, mammals and crustaceans.
* The Museo de la Estampa (Print Museum) was dedicated in 1987 to graphic art. It displays
lithographic, xylographic, chalcographic, serigraphic, offsetand neographicart from Manuel Manilla, José Guadalupe Posada, Carlos Alvarado Lang, Alfredo Zalce, Rufino Tamayo, etc. It has 7 display rooms and an embossing workshop.
* The Museo de la Acuarela (Watercolor Museum) was founded in 1993 and is one of the few museums in the world dedicated to watercolors. It has rooms dedicated to Mexican artists like
Pastor Velázquez, Vicente Mendiola, Edgardo Coghlan, Ignacio Barriosand Ángel Mauro. It also has a "Estado de México" room with pieces which have won national prizes. It is located in house that has always been knows as "El Gallito" (Little Rooster), a name which appears in the crest of the main façade.
* The Museo de la
Numismática(Numismatics Museum) was founded in 1987 by the state government in order to show Mexico's history through coins from the pre-Hispanic period up to the present day. It is one of a kind in Latin America. The collection of bills is very important because of its antiquity.
* The Museo
José María Velasco(José María Velasco Museum) was founded in honor of one of the most famous landscape artists of the 19th century. It holds about 40 pieces from the artist as well as drawings and oil paintings. It has a library and a central patio where cultural events take place. The building was once occupied by Father Miguel Hidalgo before he fought in the Battle of Monte de las Cruces. Works on permanent display include: "The Volcanoes Seen from the OcotlánValley," "The Valley of Mexico from Molino del Rey" and "Self-Portrait".
* The Museo
Felipe Santiago Gutiérrez( Felipe Santiago GutiérrezMuseum) also has a room of Mexican paintings from the 19th century. It has a collection of 225 oil paintings, watercolors and drawings which reflects Gutiérrez’s evolution as an artist.
Luis Nishizawa(Luis Nishizawa Workshop-Museum) was founded in honor of the artist in 1992. It has 7 halls and a library specializing in art and an information center. It is located in the old El Cóporo neighborhood, housed in one of Toluca's oldest mansions which is mentioned in numerous 17th century documents.
* The Museo de Arte Moderno (Museum of Modern Art) holds a great collection of Mexican paintings of the 20th and 21st centuries. The pieces come from other museums like
Bellas Artesas well as from artist and institutional donations. Some of the artists represented are Gilberto Navarro, José Luis Cuevas, Siqueiros, Leopoldo Flores, etc.
* The Museo de Culturas Populares (Museum of Popular Cultures) displays a large collection of crafts, including items make of wood, bones, glass, seeds, as well as textiles, traditional toys and regional candy and other foods.
* The Museo de Antropología e Historia (Museum of Antropology and History) has more than 1000 pieces on display, with an introductory room, five archeological rooms, seven ethnographic rooms and one historical room. Its theme is Mexico's place in the evolution of the hemisphere's history and geography, as well as the geopolitical and strategic importance of the State of Mexico. Some of the finest Aztec stone sculptures are on display, including an important image of the god
Lerma Riverflows from Lake Almoloya del Río through the center of the municipality towards the west, flowing into Lake Chapala. From this point westward the river takes the name of Río Grande de Santiago. And it goes from this lake to the Pacific Oceanin the state of Nayarit. The river is about km to mi|1180 long; about 60% of it is known as Lerma River and 40% as Santiago River. [cite book |last=García de León |first=Porfirio |coauthors=Fernádo González de la Vara, Ricardo Jaramillo Luque |title=Historia General del Estado de México Volumen 1 Geografía y Arqueología |year=1998 |publisher=Corporación Editorial Mac S.A. de C.V. |location=Toluca México |language=Spanish |isbn=970-669-001-8 |pages=39] The Nevado de Tolucaor Xinantécatlis km to mi|30 southwest of the city. The god Tolo was supposed to reside in the volcano's crater. Its original indigenous name was "Chignahualtecatl" which means “Nine Mountains” but later was named "Xinantecatl" which means “naked man”, because the siluette of its crater resumbles a sleeping man, before the Spaniards named it "Nevado", meaning "snow-covered". It is a place of increasing sporting activity, such as mountain biking, climbing, and high altitude running. It is the only volcano in Mexico that has two lagoons and can be reached by automobile. There have been proposals to turn this mountain into a ski hillbecause of its accessibility and the low temperatures that exist on the mountain throughout the year, but recent reports on global warminghave raised fears that the snow cap on the mountain will disappear completely within a few decades. [cite web |url=http://www.natives.co.uk/news/2004/04/19mex.htm |title=World's highest ski resort on cards for Mexico |date=2004-04-19 |accessdate=2007-12-03] The area was converted into the Nevado de Toluca National Parkin January 1936 with about convert|1517|km2|sqmi|1|abbr=on in area. [cite web |title=NP NEVADO DE TOLUCA |publisher=vivanatura |url=http://www.vivanatura.org/Toluca.html |accessdate=2007-10-10] The park has forest land, especially of pines and obeto trees. The prevalent animals are camp rats, teporingos, squirrels, tlacuaches, lizards, snakes, and eagles. On the lower part of this mountain there are picnic tables and BBQ grills. In the higher part of the volcano (inside) there are two lagoons in which visitors can practice scuba-divingand fishing. This volcano is unique in Mexico in that one can enter the crater by car.cite book |last=INEGI |title=“Estado de México” Guía Turística de México |year=1997 |publisher=INEGI |location=Aguascalientes México |language=Spanish |isbn=970-13-1194-9 |pages=175,214]
Outside of the metropolitan area, the economy is still based on agriculture and livestock, with some income from tourism. Only a little over four percent of the total municipal population engages in agriculture raising corn, wheat, beans, potatoes, peas, fava beans and oats on a little over half of the municipality's territory. Livestock raising is a greater source of income with 10,286 sites producing cattle, pigs, sheep and domestic fowl. Tourism is based on the Nevado de Toluca volcano and the archeological zone of Calixtlahuaca. Despite being little known internationally, they manage to represent about 50% of the state's tourism income.
source= [http://smn.cna.gob.mx/] The climate is cool and humid with higher humidity and rainfall and occasional hail in the summer. It can also experience freezing temperatures in the winter. The climate is the coolest of any large Mexican city due to its high altitude of convert|2680|m|ft|0 above sea level. Despite its southerly latitude, on winter nights temperatures can drop well below convert|0|C|F|0 and even in the summer it can cool down to convert|5|C|F|0 or less, while maximum temperatures rarely exceed convert|27|C|F|0 on the hottest days. The climate is prone to extended dry periods particularly in the winter. Precipitation during the winter usually falls as snow in the higher elevation such as El Nevado de Toluca and its surroundings. The rainy season which extends from June until October. Just outside of the heavily-industrialized city, the municipality has forests of oaks, pines, fir, cedar, cypress, acacias and other flora that are characteristic of the temperate zone of central Mexico. One advantage this area has over many other in Mexico, is its almost near-absence of insects.
List of communities in the municipality
As municipal seat of the municipality of Toluca, the city as governmental jurisdiction over the following communities:Barrio Bordo Nuevo, Barrio de Balbuena (Los Siete Compadres), Barrio de Guadalupe Totoltepec, Barrio de Jesús Fracción Primera, Barrio de Jesús Fracción Segunda, Barrio del Cajón, Barrio la Palma Toltepec, Barrio Santa Cruz, Barrio Santa María, Cacalomacán, Calixtlahuaca, Calzada de los Corredores, Cerrillo Vista Hermosa, Cerro del Perico, Col. Arroyo Vista Hermosa (Barrio el Arroyo), Col. Aviación (Barrio de Jesús Segunda Secc.), Colonia de Pacífico, Colonia del Durazno, Colonia Guadalupe, Colonia Guadalupe (La Loma), Colonia la Cañada, Colonia la Joya, Colonia la Venta, Ejido de Almoloya de Juárez, Ejido de Nova (Barrio del Museo), Ejido de Oxtotitlán (Nova), Ejido de Santiago Tlaxomulco (Zimbrones), Ejido del Cerro del Murciélago, Ejido San Marcos Yachihuacaltepec, Ejido Santa Cruz Atzcapozaltongo, El Arenal, El Cerrillo Piedras Blancas (El Cerrillo), El Depósito, El Dorado, El Mirador, El Refugio, Hacienda Santín (Rancho Santín), Jicaltepec Autopan, Joya de Cacalomacán (Hda. San Antonio Cano), La Constitución, La Loma Cuexcontitlán, La Planada (El Arenal), La Soledad (La Macaria), Las Palmas, Lomas de Vista Hermosa, Ojo de Agua Autopan, Palmillas, Paraje el Cornejal (El Arenal), Pueblo Nuevo, Ranchería San Isidro, Rancho el Rosedal, Rancho las Cañadas, Rancho las Lupitas, Rancho San Bartolo (Rancho Grande), Rancho San José Terán, Rancho San Pablo, San Andrés Cuexcontitlán, San Antonio Buenavista, San Blas Otzacatipan (San Blas), San Blas Totoltepec, San Carlos, San Carlos Autopan, San Cayetano Morelos (San Cayetano), San Diego de los Padres Cuexcontitlán, San Diego de los Padres Otzacatipan, San Diego Linares, San Diego los Padres Cuexcontitlán Secc. 5 A, San Diego los Padres Cuexcontitlán Secc. 5 B, San Felipe Tlalmimilolpan, San Francisco Totoltepec, San Isidro Ejido de Calixtlahuaca, San José Buenavista el Chico, San José Gpe. (San José Gpe. Otzacatipan), San José la Costa, San Juan Tilapa, San Marcos Yachihuacaltepec, San Martín Toltepec, San Mateo Otzacatipan, San Miguel Totoltepec, San Miguel Zacango (Rancho), San Nicolás Tolentino, San Pablo Autopan, San Pedro Totoltepec, Santa Cruz Otzacatipan, Santa Juanita de Santiago Tlacotepec, Santa Martha, Santiago Tlacotepec, , Santiago Tlaxomulco (Tumbaburros), Sebastián Lerdo de Tejada, Tecaxic, Tlachaloya Primera Sección, Tlachaloya Segunda Sección, Xicaltepec Cuexcontitlán (Cuexcontitlán), Xicaltepec Otzacatipan (Ej. San Mateo), Xicaltepec Tepaltitlán (Ej. San Lorenzo)
The metropolitan area
Toluca is the economic engine of the Vally of Toluca, in which are located 30 municipalities. However, not all of these municipalities have the same relationship with Toluca. Technically, Toluca lies in the southern part of the valley and its economic influence is most strongly felt in the southern and central parts of the valley. The northern parts of the valley have closer ties to
Atlacomulco. The core metropolitan area of Toluca consists of the municipalites of Toluca, Lerma, Metepec, San Mateo Atenco, Ocoyoacacand Zinacantepec. The economic interdependence of these municipalities are most similar to that of the communities in the Mexico City metropolitan area. There are two "outer spheres" of the metropolitan area. The first consists of the municipalties of Almoloya del Río, Capulhuac, Mexicaltzingo, San Antonio la Isla, Tenango del Valleand Xonacatlán. The furthest sphere consists of Santiango Tianguistenco, Santa María Rayón, Santa Cruz Atizapánand Chapultepec, México. These spheres are defined not only by geographical distance but also by population growth and rate of urbanization.
* [http://www.inegi.gob.mx/est/contenidos/espanol/sistemas/conteo2005/localidad/iter/ Link to tables of population data from Census of 2005] INEGI: Instituto Nacional de Estadística, Geografía e Informática
* [http://www.e-local.gob.mx/wb2/ELOCAL/EMM_mexico México] Enciclopedia de los Municipios de México
* [http://www.toluca.gob.mx/ Ayuntamiento de Toluca] Official website es icon
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.