PLACES OF INTEREST
Housed in one of the most architecturally and historically interesting building in the city, the Obispado Museum sits stop the Cerro delObispado (Bishopric Hill) with fantastic views across the city. The Obispado – or Bishop’s Palace – was built in 1787 as the retirement home for Bishop Fray Rafael Jose Verger. Located in Calle Rafael José Verger, it is considered one of the most important monuments in the city. It served as a city fortress against the American invasions during the Mexican-American War (1846-1848) and some people believe that the hill has many hidden tunnels. In 1956, the Obispado became a museum and remains so to this day.
The museum focuses on the fascinating history of the state with exhibits depicting early Spanish colonial exploration and settlement in the regions, events of the Mexican revolutions and the war against the United States, and several exhibits that explain some of the story behind the state’s major industries, including beer brewing, steel, and glass. The museum is closed on Mondays.
The Mirador del Obispado (Bishopric Lookout) is located at the top of the Cerro del Obispadoand featuresthe Bandera Monumental, one of the biggestmonumental flags in Mexico. With a pole of 120 tons and 100.6 meters of height and the flag measuring 50 by 28.6 meters and weighting 250 kilograms, this place is a very attractive landmark for tourists as well as for locals. Due to the excellent view of the city, the Obispado became a very popular “parking” spot for couples that want to spend some time alone.El Mirador del Obispadois open to the public everyday of the week from 8:30 am to 10:30 pm.
San Pedro boasts one of the best preserved national parks in the country, the “Chipinque” park, within the Parque Nacional Cumbres de Monterrey. Chipinque is a well maintained ecological park located on the Meseta de Chipinque at an altitude of 4920 feet. The park has over 1600 hectares of forest, but only 300 hectares are open to the public in order to preserve the natural flora and fauna. The park boasts 3 types of vegetation: scrub, oak forest, and pine forest. The forests are home to 52 species of birds, 19 species of mammals, and 23 species of reptiles. In addition to bird and animal watching, park visitors can enjoy the 7km of hiking and bike trails, playground equipment, clean, shaded picnic areas with grills and picnic tables, modern and clean restroom facilities, a cafeteria and gift shop. The drive to Chipinque is winding and steep with breathtaking views of Monterrey.
|Alfa Planetarium was created in 1978 to promote science and technology in Latin America. It includes an interactive science museum, a fantastic IMAX theater, and an aviary with over 200 bird species. In addition the “Universe Pavilion” features a monumental stained glass art piece by the well-known muralist Rufino Tamayo, where the artist gives his concept of the cosmos. The Alfa Planetarium is one of the most visited cultural centers in Mexico.Location: Av. Roberto Garza Sada No. 1000
Phone: (81) 8303-0001
Website: www.planetarioalfa.org.mx or click on the image
Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, MARCO, opened in 1991 and contains a permanent collection of contemporary Mexican and Latin American art, plus traveling exhibits. The MARCO also has a gift shop, cafeteria, and a courtyard café. Offers free Sunday concerts, family Sunday events, and art classes.
Location: Zuazua and Ocampo, on the east side of the Gran Plaza
Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 10:00am – 6:00pm
Parking: There is a lot next to the building (hourly rate) or free parking underneath the museum
Website: www.marco.org.mx or click on the image
Museo Del AutomovilyTransportede Monterrey houses a permanent exhibit of 63 vehicles dating from 1900 – 1960’s.
Location: Av Alfonso Reyes and ServicioPostal within the ParqueNinos Heroes
Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 10:00am – 7:00pm
Website: www.autoclasico.com.mxor click on the image
The Museum of MexicanHistory opened in 1994 and is housed in a modern looking building. The permanent exhibit features a large room devoted to Ancient Mexico. In another room, visitors can explore an exhibit on the Revolution era, complete with an exhibit of an early 20th century rail car and train engine. Other exhibits include early machinery and clothing. Also housed in this building are a gift shop, cinema, cafeteria, and library. Free tour guides in English with prior reservation. For more information about all three museums, please click on the image.
Museo Del Vidrio (The Glass Museum) is located within an impressive complex of brick buildings. It is housed in the renovated old general offices of Vidriera Monterrey, S.A. The museum includes three floors of beautifully displayed exhibits. On the first floor you will discover the history of glass making in Mexico and around the world. On the second floor you will encounter a mid-nineteenth century drugstore, a stained glass display, as well as several displays of popular art in glass. In the attic is a permanent exhibit that demonstrates various techniques and applications of contemporary glass art. Tours in English are available by appointment. In addition to the museum, you can visit the Galeria (gift shop) within the old factory hall of the Old Finished Product Warehouse. This fascinating building was built in the 1930’s and its restoration was completed in 1997. Frequently, temporary art exhibits are also on display in this hall. A Florian Restaurant Café is in this building. When leaving The Galeria, don’t miss the opportunity to take a peek into the factory across the street where glass bottles are being made and packaged.
Location: Zaragoza and Magallanes 517 Ote (At the end of Zuazua, turn left. The complex will be about 1 block on the right)
Hours: Monday – Sunday, 9:00am – 6:00pm
Admission Fee: Free! English speaking guide with appointment
Parking: Is within the complex and free of charge
Website: www.museovidrio.vto.com or click on the image
The Macroplaza or La Gran Plaza is a town square or plaza located in the heart of the city of Monterrey.Itwas built in the early 1980s during the governorship of Alfonso MartínezDomínguez. The construction of the Macroplaza required the demolition of several old buildings and houses including a famous movie theater.The Macroplaza is presently the second largest plaza in the world. It has an extension of 400,000 square meters consisting of various monuments, smaller plazas and gardens.The Gran Plaza joins many smaller plazas with a variety of new and historical buildings of interest. One of the most iconic monuments of the city is the Faro del Comercio (Lighthouse of Commerce), a 70 meters tall modern lighthouse located in the same plaza, equipped with a green laser that shot its light around the city at nights.
In addition, the Macroplaza features the following monuments, buildings and pedestrian zones:
- Palacio de Gobierno, a neoclassical construction where the office of the governor is located;
- Explanada de los Heroes, a 19,400 square meters explanade located in front of the Palacio de Gobierno;
- JardínHundido (aka ParqueHundido), an almost hidden garden located in the heart of the Macroplaza featuring various monuments and a fountain. A Speakers’ Corner, similar to that located in London’s Hyde Park, is located in the JardínHundido;
- Teatro de la Ciudad;
- Biblioteca Fray Servando Teresa de Mier, a publiclibrary;
- Fuente de Neptuno (aka Fuente de la Vida), a bronzefountainrepresentingtheromangodNeptune;
- Capilla de los DulcesNombres, a 19th century roman catholic chapel;
- Plaza Zaragoza, the old city plaza located between the Cathedral and the original city hall building (Currently the MuseoMetropolitano de Monterrey);
- Monterrey City Hall (aka el Palacio de Cristal), the headquarters of the Mayor of Monterrey;
- Homenaje al Sol, a monument designed by Rufino Tamayo located at the southernmost point of the Macroplaza.
Benjamin Franklin Library is a bilingual public library that offers a wealth of educational and cultural materials. The library was founded in 1947 by the Pan American Round Table. In 1948, the Consulate General assumed responsibility for its operation and funding. It was donated to the Institute MexicanoNorteamericano de RelacionesCulturales de Nuevo Leon in 1982 and was organized as a private charitable institution in 1995. The mission of the library is to be the most complete source of printed and electronic information for public use in Monterrey and its metropolitan area.
Location: This library is located within the cultural complex of the Bi-national Center of Monterrey. The address is Porfirio Diaz 949 Sur, facing Hidalgo St., very near the Purisima Church
Hours: Monday – Friday 2:00pm – 7:00pm
Website: www.relacionesculturales.com or click on the image
Calzadadel Valle and Calzada San Pedro are beautiful and wide boulevards enveloped in lush greenery. Every Sunday, both boulevards are blocked off for San Pedro de Pinta, a project started in the spring of 2011 (click on the image for more details). The walkways in the center of the Calzadas are used for exercising, walking, marathons, and parades (during Ester and Christmas season).