Veracruz, Veracruz

Veracruz, Veracruz

The city of Veracruz is a major port city and municipality on the Gulf of Mexico in the Mexican state of Veracruz. The metropolitan area is Mexico's First largest City on the Gulf coast (after Veracruz Tampico and Ciudad del Carmen)clarifyme and an important port on Mexico's east coast. It is located convert|105|km|mi|abbr=on along Federal Highway 140 from the state capital Xalapa, and is the state's most populous city, with a population of 444,438 in the city and 512,310 in the municipality, according to the 2005 census. [INEGI. II Conteo de Población y Vivienda 2005. Tabulados Básicos.] The municipality has an area of convert|241|km2|sqmi|abbr=on and includes such outlying communities as Valente Díaz and Las Amapolas. The metropolitan area, which includes the municipalities of Boca del Río and Alvarado, had a total population of 702,394, compared to metro Tampico's total of 803,196.

It is often referred to as "Puerto de Veracruz" to distinguish it from the state. The people of Veracruz are known as "Jarochos". It is also referred as the "Four Times Heroic City" after resisting various invasions, two from France (the Pastry War and the French intervention in Mexico) and two from the USA, (the Siege of Veracruz and the 1914 US occupation).

Pre-Columbian History

The modern-day states of Veracruz and Tabasco were once occupied by the Olmec tribe, from around 1400 BCE to about 400 BCE. [See the Olmec] One of the most familiar aspects that the Olmec's were known for was thier art; particularly the aptly-named colossal heads. [Diehl, Richard (2004). The Olmecs: America's First Civilization, Ancient peoples and places series. London: Thames & Hudson: p11.] But also, recent Archaeological evidence (found in Veracruz in 2002 and 2006) suggests that the Olmec may have been the first civilization in the Western Hemisphere to develop a writing system. [See the Olmec] [] [] [Pohl, Mary; Kevin O. Pope, and Christopher von Nagy (2002). "Olmec Origins of Mesoamerican Writing". Science 298: 1984–1987.] This would pre-date the Zapotec writings, which have been dated to about 500 BCE. [cite news |first= |last= |authorlink= |coauthors= |title='Oldest' New World writing found |url= |quote=Ancient civilisations in Mexico developed a writing system as early as 900 BC, new evidence suggests. |publisher=BBC |date= |accessdate=2008-03-30 ] [cite news |first= |last= |authorlink= |coauthors= |title=Oldest Writing in the New World |url= |quote=A block with a hitherto unknown system of writing has been found in the Olmec heartland of Veracruz, Mexico. Stylistic and other dating of the block places it in the early first millennium before the common era, the oldest writing in the New World, with features that firmly assign this pivotal development to the Olmec civilization of Mesoamerica. |publisher=Science |date= |accessdate=2008-03-30 ] The discovery came when the famous Cascajal Block (a writing tablet-sized serpentine slab, which depicts 62 glyphs) was discovered by road builders in the late 1990s in a pile of debris in the village of Lomas de Tacamichapa in the Veracruz lowlands in the ancient Olmec heartland. [See the Cascajal Block] [] []


The seaport was founded by Hernán Cortés, who first landed there in 1519 at the start of his quest to conquer Mexico for Spain. It was named La Villa Rica de la Vera Cruz ("The Rich Town of the True Cross"; the name is also occasionally given as "La Rica Villa de la Vera Cruz").

It was New Spain's main port, where silver and wares from the "Manila Galleons" transported overland from Acapulco were loaded onto the Spanish treasure fleets for shipment to Spain. The port was harassed by hostile powers and by pirates, who succeeded in pillaging the city in 1653 and in 1712. In response to such dangers the large fortress of San Juan de Ulúa was built on an island in the harbour, beginning in 1565 and substantially expanded several times later.

A natural harbour, Veracruz has been fought over throughout its history, and boasts the title "Four Times Heroic" in reference to the expulsion of the Spanish in 1815, the 1838 occupation of the French Navy in the Pastry War, and resistance, but later surrender, to the United States's occupations of 1847 and 1914 (see: Siege of Veracruz and U.S. occupation of Veracruz, 1914).

During the Mexican-American War, US forces led by Gen. Winfield Scott took the city on March 29, 1847 after a siege. It was captured by France in 1838 and again in 1861. In 1914 it was occupied by the United States for seven months because of the Tampico Affair, this time under Major General Frederick Funston.

The railroad connecting Veracruz to Mexico City, convert|425|km|mi inland over mountain ranges, was constructed during the administration of Benito Juárez and inaugurated in 1873.


As of the census of 2000, there were 500,000 people living in Veracruz City.

The racial makeup of the city was 60% Mestizo, 15% Black/Afro-Mexican, 15% Indian, 9% Mixed, the remaining 1% is composed by many immigrants, especially Middle-Easterns and Italians.


The city is known for its rich traditions of music, including marimba bands, danzón and comparsa. A special kind of music called "son jarocho", a mix of Mexican folk music and Cuban "son", was developed in southern Veracruz state, in and around Veracruz, Veracruz. La Bamba is the most famous example of "son jarocho". An equally rich dance tradition parallels Veracruz's unique musical styles.

In downtown Veracruz, a large marble-tiled zócalo, called the Plaza de Armas or Plaza Lerdo, is the heart of the city's lively nightlife. It is lined with arcades that house bars and cafes. On a nearly nightly basis large groups of people sit outside in the plaza enjoying food, drinks and cigars, while they watch musicians and dancers that perform in the square. Veracruz's 18th century cathedral and 17th century Palacio Municipal are also located on the plaza.

The yearly Carnaval festival in Veracruz, a nine-day party in February or March, is the most spectacular festival of its kind, and it's also the oldest organized Carnaval in Mexico. The city also celebrates a yearly Afrocaribeño festival in July. These festivities illustrate the fact that the city is in many ways more connected to Caribbean culture than that of inland Mexico.

The "Malecón" harborfront walk along the docks draws many tourists, more from within Mexico than foreigners. The city has several beaches as well, like Villa del Mar and Mocambo.

Nearby beaches

*Antón Lizardo
*Isla Sacrificios
*Playa Chachalacas


The city is served by General Heriberto Jara International Airport, located outskirts of the city.

The city also serves as Mexico's second largest port, after Manzanillo. The port handled 16.5 million tons of cargo in 2007. [citeweb
title=Informe Estadistico Mensual
publisher=Coordinacion General de Puertos y Marina Mercante
date=December 2007

The city also has railroad connections with the city of Xalapa, Veracruz and to Mexico City.


As a bustling port city, Veracruz was the site of some of the most vicious pirate raids in the Gulf of Mexico. In 1683, the 5,000 citizens of Veracruz were trapped in the city, when the pirates Laurens de Graff and Michel de Grammont held it under siege. Together their crew of 600 looted the city and terrorized the inhabitants and left unscathed several days later.

Secret tunnels are said to exist under the city. Local lore has it that they were built during the colonial era by a countess who used them to engage affairs with men in different locations in the city while her husband was away.



External links

* [ Veracruz City government, in Spanish]
* [ Museum of Veracruz, in Spanish]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Veracruz (Bundesstaat) — Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Veracruz — Estado Libre y Soberano de Veracruz État libre et souverain du Veracruz …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Veracruz-Llave — Veracruz Pour les articles homonymes, voir Veracruz (homonymie). Estado Libre y Soberano de Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave (État libre et souverain de Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave) …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Veracruz Llave — Veracruz Pour les articles homonymes, voir Veracruz (homonymie). Estado Libre y Soberano de Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave (État libre et souverain de Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave) …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Véracruz — Veracruz Pour les articles homonymes, voir Veracruz (homonymie). Estado Libre y Soberano de Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave (État libre et souverain de Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave) …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Veracruz Llave — Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave Karte Mexikos Veracruz hervorgehoben Hauptstadt Xalapa Weitere große Städte Veracruz …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Veracruz (desambiguación) — Veracruz puede referirse a las siguientes acepciones: Toponimia  México Veracruz, principal puerto marítimo mexicano. Ciudad y municipio. Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave, uno de los 31 estados de México. Veracruz, ciudad mexicana en el… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Veracruz (disambiguation) — Veracruz (or Vera Cruz, the True Cross in Portuguese and Spanish) may refer to different things:PlacesBrazil*Vera Cruz, Bahia *Vera Cruz, São PauloEast Timor*Vera Cruz (East Timor), a subdistrict of Dili DistrictMexico*Veracruz, state in Mexico… …   Wikipedia

  • Veracruz (Bogotá) — Veracruz es un barrio de la UPZ Las Nieves, situada en localidad de Santa Fe de la ciudad de Bogotá. Se encuentra en la zona oriental de la ciudad, cerca de sus Cerros Orientales y en la parte central de su localidad. Contenido 1 Historia 2… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Veracruz (Honduras) — Veracruz Municipio de Honduras Capital Veracruz Entidad Municipio  • País …   Wikipedia Español

  • Veracruz Sporting Club — Nombre completo Veracruz Sporting Club Apodo(s) Sporting Fundación 1908 Estadio Estadio de la Universidad UVM Villa Rica …   Wikipedia Español

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”