ZACATECAS, MEXICO, a city of Mexico, capital of the state of Zacatecas, 442 m. by the Mexican Central railway N.W. of Mexico city. Pop. (1900) 39,912. It is built in a deep, narrow ravine, 8050 ft. above sea-level, with narrow, crooked streets climbing the steep hillsides, and white, flat-roofed houses of four and five storeys overtopping each other. Its streets are well paved, and are lighted with electricity. The city is well drained and has a fine aqueduct for its water supply. The cathedral is an elaborately carved red-stone structure with unfinished towers and richly decorated interior. Several domed churches occupy prominent sites. The National College and the Colegio de Nuesta Senora de Guadalupe with its fine library may be noticed. Overlooking the city from an elevation of 500 ft. is the Bufa Hill, which is crowned by a chapel and is a popular pilgrimage resort. The Guadalupe chapel near the city has elaborate decorations, including frescoes, Onyx steps, silver rails and paintings, and a curious tiled dome. The industries comprise carriage building, weaving and the manufacture of coarse pottery. The town is an important commercial centre.
Zacatecas was founded in 1546 and was built over a rich vein of silver discovered by Juan de Tolosa in the same year. This and other mines in the vicinity attracted a large population, and it soon became one of the chief mining centres of Mexico. It was made a city in 1585 by Philip II.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)