The capital of the state of the same name was founded at the beginning of the 18th century as “San Felipe de Real de Chihuahua”.
Today it is a modern city characterised by industry and agriculture, whose colonial past can only be seen in a few buildings in the centre. Chihuahua has repeatedly been the scene of important events in Mexican history. Father Miguel de Hidalgo y Costilla, one of the fathers of Mexican independence, was imprisoned here and executed in the courtyard of the present Governor’s Palace in June 1811. A mural at the scene reminds us of the event. The dungeon in which Hidalgo was previously held can still be visited today.
However, Chihuahua is most strongly connected with the name and work of Francisco “Pancho” Villa. As the general of the revolutionary troops of the “División del Norte” he had his headquarters here, from where he fought against the Díaz dictatorship, large landowners and the exploitation of industrial workers by foreign investors. With his followers Benito Juárez also organized from Chihuahua the resistance against the French occupation under the marionette emperor Maximilian of Habsburg.
The Palacio de Gobierno (governors palace), built between 1882 and 1892, houses large-format murales under the arcades of its inner courtyard. On one side of the stairs you can visit the “Altar a la Patria”. It marks the exact spot where Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla was shot. The Centro Cultural Universitario “Quinta Gameros”, an outstanding example of French eclecticism, houses an impressive collection of Art Nouveau furniture from the Requena family.
Chihuahua’s cathedral dates from the late 18th century and is considered the best example of Baroque in the north of the country. It dominates the Plaza de Armas.
The Museo de la Revolución Méxicana, also known as “Quinta Luz”, is named after Francisco Villa’s widow Luz Corral de Villa. One of his most famous exhibits is the Dogde 22, sieved with bullets, in which villa fell victim to an ambush in Hidalgo del Parral on July 20, 1923.
The Museo Calabozo de Hidalgo shows the prison cell in which Hidalgo waited for his shooting.
Also dedicated to Hidalgo’s legacy is the collection in the Palacio de Gobierno called the “Museo de Hidalgo”. In the same building there is also a historical weapons collection from the time of independence, the Galeria de Armas.
The former railway repair facility of Casa Redonda now houses a collection of modern art as well as exhibits from the railway history of Chihauhua.
The state-of-the-art, interactive technology and science museum Museo Semilla Chihuahua was opened just a few years ago.