Free Things To Do in Guadalajara
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The Rotonda de los Jaliscienses Ilustres, or Rotunda of the Illustrious Jaliscans, is a circle of 17 Doric columns and a monument to the region's favorite writers and revolutionaries. In fact, bronze statues of teacher Irene Robledo García, artist José Clemente Orozco and 20-some others ring the rotunda. Some of their ashes are even tucked into the monument.
Recent travelers said the rotunda is a great place to get a quick dive into the history of Guadalajara. Many also suggest viewing the monument at night when it's lit by multi-colored lights
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The Templo Expiatorio del Santísimo Sacramento is a Gothic church that first opened its doors in 1897. It's defined by large stone pillars and equally enormous stained-glass windows. If you're passing by at 9 a.m., noon and 6 p.m., you'll witness 12 apostles process out through a door in the clock tower – just like clockwork.
Recent visitors called this church "an amazing piece of art" and a must-see. Others recommend planning your visit on weekend afternoons when the plaza around the church fills with vendors selling delicious foods, such as strawberry and pineapple tamales.
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Guadalajara's cathedral is one of the region's most iconic landmarks. Begun in 1558 and finally completed in 1618, it didn't get its signature neo-Gothic towers until the 19th century after an earthquake damaged the structure. Aside from its fusion of architectural styles, some of the treasures housed inside include richly adorned vaults, one of the largest organs in Mexico and stained-glass windows imported from France.
Travelers highly recommend stopping by the ornate cathedral (especially at night when it's illuminated), and some suggest visiting in November and December when street fairs fill the cathedral surrounds. Some reviewers even said the church's elaborate interiors rival Europe's most famous houses of worship.