Almost half a century of history! San Cristóbal de Las Casas: A colonial beauty 


San Cristóbal de Las Casas, a picturesque city located in the Chiapas Highlands region, is a true historical and cultural treasure. This city is widely known for its well-preserved colonial architecture and rich historical heritage. 

One of the most outstanding architectural jewels of San Cristóbal de Las Casas is the majestic Cathedral of San Cristóbal, a centuries-old yellow building located in Central Park. The historic center is also home to the Los Altos Museum, located in the former baroque convent of Santo Domingo de Guzmán, as well as the Musac. At 2,200 meters above sea level, the city offers a pleasant climate and a charming atmosphere. 

San Cristóbal is the most important city in the Chiapas Highlands region and is the third most populous in the state, after the capital, Tuxtla Gutiérrez, and the city of Tapachula. Although in the past it was the political capital of Chiapas, it lost that title on August 11, 1892 due to tensions between liberal and conservative groups. However, it continues to be recognized as the cultural capital of the state of Chiapas. 

The city’s chronicler, Miguel Ángel Muñoz Luna, pointed out that San Cristóbal de Las Casas is about to celebrate its 500th anniversary of founding in less than five years. The city has had various names throughout its history, such as Ciudad Real de Chiapa and Villa Real de Chiapa, before adopting its current name in honor of Bishop Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas. 

The foundation of San Cristóbal de Las Casas took place on March 31, 1528, when Diego de Mazariegos, a Spanish captain, established it as Villa Real. The city has evolved significantly since then, with its historic center filled with historical monuments and beautiful colonial buildings. 

Today, San Cristóbal has 10 old neighborhoods and a total of 18 neighborhoods, in addition to more than 50 neighborhoods that make up the city. Its population, unofficially estimated at approximately 350,000, has experienced significant growth throughout its nearly 500-year history. 

Muñoz Luna also mentioned that, although much of the historic architecture has been preserved, the house of Diego de Mazariegos, one of the founders of the city, only retains the frame of the entrance. Currently, in its location there is a famous restaurant that was once called “La Paloma”. 

San Cristóbal de Las Casas is a destination that combines history, culture, and colonial beauty, making it one of the most captivating cities in Mexico and a place of great importance in the country’s history. 

  Source: El Heraldo de Chiapas