Operatour Potosina, a tour agency we used during our visit. Lori is an excellent, English-speaking tour guide and I emailed her for information. She asked around and reported back that the sculpture was done by Joaquin Arias Méndez (1913-2013), a famous Mexican sculptor. He is also responsible for a sculpture in the plaza's Teatro de la Paz as well as many others around Mexico, including the famous Minerva statue in Guadalajara. The fountain was inaugurated in August 25, 1973, when the plaza was remodeled.
Procession of Silence, the most important annual civic event in San Luis Potosí. Every Semana Santa (Easter Week), the procession gathers in this plaza and then winds through the streets of the city. Participants include many of the Catholic brotherhoods dressed in special costumes, some of which include the pointed hoods seen above. The multitude moves in complete silence in order to respect the solemnity of the occasion. Among the many other groups participating are the bullfighters. They come to honor their special patron, Nuestra Señora de la Soledad (Our Lady of Solitude). The tradition of a silent Easter procession was introduced very early in the colonial period by the Carmelite Order of Mexico City. However, San Luis' procession was not organised until 1954. At that time, a bullfighter named Fermin Rivera and a Carmelite priest named Nicolás de San José put together the first event here. The Procession of Silence is considered part of the cultural heritage of San Luis Potosí and draws 160,000 visitors to the city from all over the world.
begun in 1747. The church was officially blessed in 1764, although the tower was not completed until 1768. Unfortunately, many of the great art works it once contained have been lost or destroyed. During more than a century of conflict between the beginning of the War of Independence in 1810 and the end of the Revolution in 1921, much of value was lost to Mexico. However, in 1936, the Templo del Carmen was declared a national monument.
Mask Museum occupies the southwest corner of the plaza. The building was constructed in 1897 as a mansion for a wealthy miner and landowner named Marti. Even without the museum, the building would be worth visiting because it is an architectural jewel. In later years, the Marti mansion was taken over by the federal government to house various agencies. Finally, in 1982, it became the Museo Nacional de la Máscara. The museum houses approximately 25,000 masks, largely from the Victor José Moya collection. Most of the masks were created by Mexico's various indigenous groups, but some are from other parts of the world. Wandering through the many rooms of this museum takes you through a world that ranges from nightmarish to hilarious.
Monument to the Father has a simple theme, showing a man playing with his young son and daughter. A pair of brothers, Joel and Mario Cuevas, sculpted this affecting work. It was inaugurated in 2008 and a plaque beside it reads:
"Only a parent possesses the necessary art of being able to inspire in their children respect, love, and friendship, all at the same time."
This completes Part 4 of my San Luis Potosí series. In my next two postings, we'll take a look at the Virreinato and Máscara museums. I hope you have enjoyed this post and, if so, please feel free to comment or ask questions. You can do so either by using the Comments section below or by emailing me directly.
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Hasta luego, Jim