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Saltillo, Coahuila

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Title: Saltillo, Coahuila  
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Subject: Civil union, Domingo Ugartechea, Coahuila, Ciudad Acuña, Thomas C. Hindman, Solon Borland, Coahuila y Tejas, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, List of universities in Mexico, Tourism in Mexico
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Saltillo, Coahuila

This article is about the Mexican city. For other uses, see Saltillo (disambiguation).

City of Saltillo

Coat of arms
Nickname(s): The Athens of Mexico, The Detroit of Mexico

Location of Saltillo within the municipality

Coordinates: 25°25′00″N 101°00′00″E / 25.4167°N 101°E / 25.4167; 101

Country Mexico
State Coahuila
Founded 1577 (Alberto del Canto)
 • Mayor Jerico Abramo Masso
Elevation 1,600 m (5,249 ft)
Population (2010)
 • City 725,095
 • Metro 823,098
 • Demonym Saltillense
Time zone CST (UTC−6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC−5)

Saltillo (Spanish pronunciation: [salˈtiʎo]) is the capital and largest city of the northeastern Mexican state of Coahuila and the municipal seat of the municipality of the same name. The city is located about 400 km south of the U.S. state of Texas, and 90 km west of Monterrey, Nuevo León.

As of the 2005 census, Saltillo had a population of 725,095 people. 823,098 people reside within the metropolitan area, making it the 19th biggest metro area in the country. The metro area comprises the municipalities of Saltillo, Ramos Arizpe, and Arteaga.


El Cerro del Pueblo (The People's Hill) and its 4-metre (13 ft) cross overlook the city. The city's elevation, at 1,600 metres (5,200 ft), makes it cooler and windier than the neighboring city of Monterrey. Saltillo lies near the city of Arteaga and in the Chihuahuan desert. The city is flanked by the Zapalinamé mountains, which are part of the Sierra Madre Oriental. By looking at the relief of the mountains, one can see, according to local legend, the relief of Zapalinamé, chieftain of the Huachichil tribe.


Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: INEGI, 2006 report

Saltillo has an arid climate (Köppen climate classification BWh). Saltillo is located in the Chihuahuan desert but temperatures are cooler than other desert cities in Mexico because it is located in an altitude of 1,600 meters. Summers are slightly hot with cool nights and winters are sunny but cool. Rainfall is scarce but more prominent in summer.


The city of Saltillo is the municipal seat of the municipality of Saltillo. The current Mayor is Jerico Abramo Masso from the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) whose term ends in 2013.


Founded in 1577 by Conquistador Alberto del Canto and Spanish colonists, Saltillo is the oldest post-conquest settlement in northern Mexico. Fourteen years later in 1591 the Spanish resettled a community of their Tlaxcaltec allies in a separate nearby village (San Esteban de Nueva Tlaxcala), in order to cultivate the land and aid colonization efforts that had stalled in the face of local hostility to the Spanish presence.[5]

In 1824, Saltillo was made the capital of the State of Coahuila y Tejas and included the area which is now the US State of Texas until the Texas War of Independence and the founding of the independent Texas Republic.

On 23 October 1840 the Battle of Saltillo took place when 110 Texans crossed the Rio Grande and attacked the city, which was defended by 1000 Mexicans. The Texans killed about 400 of them before retreating.[6]

Saltillo became the site of the first same-sex civil union in Mexico on 31 January 2007.[7]


Saltillo's most famous exports are Saltillo tile and the locally woven multi-coloured sarapes. Mercedes-Benz and General Motors both have assembly plants here and Chrysler operates a truck assembly plant, a sedan assembly plant, two engine facilities and a car transmissions plant. 37.4% of cars and 62.6% of trucks produced in Mexico are assembled in Saltillo.[8] Saltillo is home to the Grupo Industrial Saltillo, an important manufacturing conglomerate that makes home appliances, silverware, and auto parts.

During the early 20th Century, Saltillo was called the Athens of Mexico because of its number of famous intellectuals. At that time, Saltillo was inhabited by a large number of expatriates from Europe, particularly Great Britain and Ireland. It is currently considered the Detroit of Mexico because of the importance of its automotive industry, including the huge Chrysler, General Motors, and Delphi plants.

The General Motors plant, the Complejo Industrial Ramos Arizpe (Ramos Arizpe Industrial Complex) manufactures vehicles for export to Japan, Canada, and Central America as well as for domestic purchase. It builds the Chevrolet C2, Chevrolet Monza, Chevrolet Captiva, Chevrolet HHR, Saturn Vue hybrid, Saab 9-4X and Cadillac SRX.[9]

Points of interest

Alameda Zaragoza is the largest park in the city and has an artificial lake in the shape of the Mexican Republic. The park is located just west of the downtown plaza.

The Colonial Center of the city is built in pink marble, giving Saltillo's architecture a distinctive flavor. Prominent buildings are the cathedral (built from 1745-1800), the Palacio de Gobierno (state government building), the Ateneo Fuente and the Instituto Tecnológico de Saltillo. The large cathedral is the best example of colonial religious architecture in northeastern Mexico; its facade is mainly Spanish Baroque, with less exuberant areas. The Centro Cultural Vito Alessio Robles (Vito Alessio Cultural Center) is an 18th-century repository of antiquities and documents from historians Vito Alessio Robles and Oscar Davila. The repository is also a temporal museum. The Casa Purcell (Purcell Mannor) is a Victorian style mansion built in the 19th century by Irish merchant William Purcell. Today it is a cultural center.

The city has two world-class museums. The Museo de las Aves de México (Bird Museum),[10] featuring a collection of bird specimens from all over Mexico in realistic displays. The Museo del Desierto (Desert Museum)[11] focuses on the geography, geology, paleontology (with dinosaur fossils) and biodiversity of the Chihuahuan desert, and the history and culture of the local people through time. It includes a cactus greenhouse and exhibits, with dozens of species.

The Mirador is an amazing place to observe a panoramic view of the city. Underground tunnels start in the Catedral de Santiago and end at the city's limits.


Saltillo's main universities are the [2], and many others.


Saltillo Metropolitan Area air traffic is served by Plan de Guadalupe International Airport. It takes 15 minutes to get from downtown Saltillo to the airport. It has several flights per day to Mexico City and a daily flight to Houston, Texas. There is a comprehensive bus system in Saltillo along with many taxis.

Sister cities

The following are sister cities of Saltillo:


  • Fernando Soler (1896 - 1979), film actor and director
  • Ruben Aguirre, actor best remembered for his characterization of Professor Jirafales in the television show El Chavo del Ocho.
  • Katie Barberi, actress best known for her work in telenovelas.
  • Magda Guzman, actress with many film and TV credits 1941 to the present[12]
  • Roberto 'Flaco' Guzman, prolific film actor from the 1970s to the early 2000s.
  • Brissia Mayagoitia, singer, former member of a band called La Nueva Banda.
  • Rosario Ybarra, activist and prominent figure in Mexican politics.
  • Carlos Bee, former U.S. Representative from Texas, great-grandson of Thomas Bee.
  • Manuel Acuña, 19th-century Mexican writer. He focused on poetry, but also wrote some novels and plays.
  • José Narro Robles, former director of the Faculty of Medicine of the National Autonomous University of Mexico.
  • Roque González Garza, Mexican general and acting president of the Republic from January to June 1915.
  • Julio Torri, Mexican writer and teacher who formed part of the Ateneo de la Juventud (1909-1914).



  • Link to tables of population data from Census of 2005 INEGI: Instituto Nacional de Estadística, Geografía e Informática.

External links

  • Official city website
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