Breathtaking View of a Colonial Pink City
The only thing more delightful than wending one’s way through the byways of Mexico’s colonial “Pink City” is to sail above it in the only teleférico cable car in the world that traverses an entire city. The effect is heady, since this once highly prosperous silver-mining city is already perched at 8,200 feet above sea level: Is it the altitude or views of the picturesque jumble of Baroque monuments below and the encircling hills beyond?
By the 18th century, the mines of Zacatecas had made it one of the New World’s richest cities. The city’s former wealth is reflected in both the ubiquitous use of pink quarry stone, called cantera rosa, and the extravagantly decorated cathedral, one of Mexico’s most outstanding Baroque buildings, whose silhouette monopolizes the view. Other stunning architectural sites greet travelers around every corner, some of them housing first-rate art collections. Two excellent museums are named for the Coronel brothers, both much-admired Zacatecan artists. Another architectural marvel is arguably Mexico’s most unusual hotel, the Quinta Heal, housed in the oldest bullring in the Americas. Many of the rooms have balconies overlooking the 17th-century plaza de toros (bullring), where echos of ¡Olé! still resonate. Stop by, if only for a drink, in the hotel’s bar, which occupies some of the former bull pens.