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Hidalgo del Parral


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   ◈ Chihuahua’s south holds a history of mining and prosperity that is seen in the fine mansions filling Hidalgo de Parral. This Magical Town is a piece of colonial times in northern Mexico. It was founded in 1631 when La Prieta mines were discovered in Cruz mountain.

This Magical Town earned its nickname, La Capital del Mundo (Capital of the World), because of its economic importance in the country. This arose from the discovery and development of mines in the 18th century. But it hasn’t only been mining, one of the Spanish colonies’ most important industries, that put this town on the map and even today makes it worth the trip. 

The city of Real de Minas del Parral, current-day Hidalgo del Parral, was once the capital of Nueva Viscaya, and it was even the capital of the Mexican Republic for a short time when Benito Juárez toured the state in 1864. This is also where Francisco Villa was assassinated in 1923.

Today, its museums and historic sites marking mining boom times make attractions worth a look. Its 497 monuments earned it INAH (National Institute of Anthropology and History) recognition as the City of Historic Monuments.




Visit La Prieta mine, the one that started it all in 1631 when the Magical Town was founded here in the foothills of Cruz mountain. Today, it is a museum narrating Hidalgo del Parral’s history.

Stop by Museo Francisco Villa. This museum marks where El Centauro del Norte (Centaur of the North) was slain.

Sightsee among its mansions, many now museums.Each one holds an interesting story just waiting to be discovered.

Nibble on flour gordita patties stuffed with a variety of savory fillings, caramelized milk candy, coricos (cookies made with corn flour), enchiladas, burritos, dobladas made with flour tortillas, and the famous rayada rolls.


To pay homage to General Francisco Villa, we suggest visiting in July, during the week when the Jornadas Villistas are held.

Parroquia de San José

Built between 1673 and 1686, the walls of this church are adorned with elegant diamond shapes, and the second part of the facade features a niche with the figure of Saint Joseph.

Inside, it holds baroque, 18th-century altarpieces and the remains of Don Juan Rangel de Biezma, the town founder. While the exact date of the town’s founding is unknown, the plaza did exist in 1633 when the first church was built. It is home to the famous sundial.

Iglesia de la
Iglesia de la Virgen del Rayo

Legend has it that, in Parral, religious routine gave a shocking turn when a miracle occurred. In 1686, a procession was held to beg the Virgen del Rayo for much needed rain.

Then, the miracle happened: a bolt of lightning lit up the devotees, making the Virgin’s face glow. As a result, the church changed its name, and in 1723 the adored figure was honored with the title of ‘Generalísima’.

During the Mexican Revolution, Villa and his forces took Parral, and the church was damaged and burned. After being rescued and carefully restored, the image returned to its place of worship on the altar. Brought from Spain and presiding in the place of honor, the Virgen del Rayo has become the focus of devotion for Parral’s faithful.

Teatro Hidalgo

Ambassador for Parral’s rich cultural heritage from the times of the Porfiriato at the turn of the 20th century, this majestic building remains, after a remodel, as an inviting open-air theater.

Over the years, it has played a number of roles, including as a barracks for liberal forces under General Donato Guerra and as part of the Church and Convent of San Francisco de Asís.

Its grand walls have echoed with symphonies such as the immortal opera of Giuseppe Verdi, Il Trovatore; masterpieces such as Tosca, Cavalleria Rusticana, Pagliacci, and Faust, which transcended borders and left their mark on the world.

For a time, this space became a movie theater, captivating audiences from 1923 to 1928.

Follow in Villa’s Footsteps

Starting in Centauro del Norte museum in the Hotel Hidalgo, check out the wax figures that recreate scenes from General Francisco Villa’s life.

Go on to Museo Francisco Villa. On July 20, 1923, Villa was assassinated here. Stepping into this museum is like taking a trip back through time into the last minutes of the general’s life.

 The carefully preserved historic objects and photos capture the great passion of one of the nation’s heroes. Top things off with a visit to the Estatua Monumental de Villa, Parral’s largest statue. The sculpture, created by the artist Lourdes Trevizo, shows the general riding his favorite mare, 7 Leguas (7 Leagues).

Venture into La Prieta Mine

This font of riches operated for 345 years, from 1629 to 1974, when the water running down its rocks led it to be closed. What was once the beating heart of Parral is now a museum holding the closely guarded secrets and memories of mining in the region.

You can take a guided visit down 285 feet to see the company offices, the forge, floatation area, and compressor chamber.

Enjoy La Gota de Miel Candy Shop

This candy shop has been sweetening life in Parral since 1932. Jamoncillos (milk fudge), cocadas (coconut sweets), caramelized milk candy studded with pecans, and many kinds of chocolate are all part of the mouth-watering array of candy that you can sample on your visit to this Magical Town.

The shop’s sweets have seduced palates all around Chihuahua, and also in other areas of the country and the United States.

Mon to Sun, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm

Jornadas Villistas

In 1996, around the time of the anniversary of Francisco Villa’s death, local riders organized a horse ride to honor the Revolutionary general and continue the work of the Frente Nacional Villista, a group continuing his cause. Ever since, this event, along with other artistic, cultural, and sports events, has been held during the third week of July.

These days, it is a large celebration including more than 100 events in addition to the Gran Cabalgata, in which thousands ride more than 186.4 miles, much like the horse ride taken by the troops following one of the Mexican Revolution’s most popular figures. 

The event is crowned by a reenactment of the leader’s death.

The main stage is La Prieta mine’s esplanade, between July 14-23 (dates vary each year).


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