Visiting Monterrey´s Macro Plaza
I walk down the narrow, cobbled streets of Monterrey Mexico. The weather is literally perfect, light jacket weather. In the distance morning mist rolls off soaring mountains. Suddenly I emerge into a massive city square. Cars make a giant loop around a collection of old buildings and tourist sights. Architectural masterpieces stand side by side with modern museums. A concrete obelisk called the light house of commerce punches 70 meter into the sky. This large city square complete with large paved walkways and dazzling fountains that spray classical statues with water is Monterrey’s throbbing heart. Monterrey’s Macro plaza is an excellent destination for an afternoon of touring.
Where to go
There are so many attractions in the Macro plaza it is hard to see them all. I was only able to see only three of them. The governor’s palace, The history of Mexico Museum, and the Metropolitan Cathedral. There is also a Contemporary art museum, the congresa de estada, and the city theater.
The Cathedral and I
The first sight I visited was the Metropolitan Cathedral. The Cathedral is not especially large but very worthwhile. Built in the 1700s the Cathedral is baroque architecture. I am not an expert on paintings and statues, but I found the ones displayed very moving. The wooden benches complete with knee rests, look aged by many years. The main reason I enjoyed going to the cathedral though, was watching the locals pray. The locals have prayed in this church for 300 years. Watching their sincere faith was an impactful experience. When I saw an ancient looking man cross himself sink to his knees, and stretch out his hands in appeal I was almost embarrassed to watch.
The History Museum
The museum of Mexican history was my next stop. This museum was an excellent tool for getting a good grip on Mexican history. A good grip on history helps give context to the rest of a vacation to Mexico. The museum starts with cultures before the Spanish conquest. Showing many artifacts and displays about the Mayas and Aztecs. Most of the Indian artifacts were pottery and stone carvings. The displays change to history of the Spanish invasion and the effects on the Indians. Artifacts from this time include spear heads, swords, and armor. The colonial displays are next with details about the Church and their missions. There are lots of artifacts from colonial life including crude homemade crucifixes, wagons, and farm implements. The next displays are to the present day including the invasion by the United the states in 1846 and the French invasion in 1861. There are also separate displays including a wildlife and terrain display in the center of the museum and a religious art display. The religious arts display is mostly scenes of the life of Jesus Christ depicted in carved ivory.
A hero and the Govornors mansion
Don’t underestimate the experience of just wandering around the plaza. There are several fountains and many statues. Vendors selling the common Mexican wares, jewelry, snacks, and souvenirs line the walkways. I had the privilege of visiting on January 3 and the Christmas decorations were still up. There was a giant tree built out of plastic chairs, and many, many nativity scenes. For example, there was a complete nativity scene including hay in the courtyard in the governor’s mansion.
The Governors Mansion
To experience the governor’s mansion, you need the walk down the esplanade of heroes. A pathway lined with statues of Mexico’s heroes. The governor’s mansion dating 1908 is neoclassical architecture. There is a large pillared courtyard in the center of the mansion. Inside the front entrance there are two large stairways coming from the second level. You may see brides in their finery having their pictures taken while they walk down the stairs.
Regrets and imormation
If I were to go to the Macro plaza again, I would take more time out of my schedule. Instead of one afternoon I would probably try for a whole day. I would like to visit the contemporary art museum, the library, and stroll the Santa Lucia river. There is parking, hotels, and hostels within easy walking distance of the Macro plaza. There is a great public transportation system including a subway, Taxis are everywhere as well. Area hole in the wall restaurants are cheap. I got a fried chicken leg with beans, rice, tortillas and lemonade for 3.10 US dollars.