Arcos de Guadalajara

At the end of the 1930s, the edge of the city was right where the Minerva roundabout is today. It was mostly corn fields and the few buildings found there were the Guadalajara Meteorological Observatory, the Country Club and very few homes. You could only get here via streetcar and at that time the only statue was an armed iron structure, adorned with the city's coat of arms, which announced to visitors they had arrived in Guadalajara.

To commemorate the 400th anniversary of the city, the current stone arches were built. Architect and engineer Don Aurelio Aceves was in charge of the project, construction began in 1939 and it was done by 1942. You can now see two neoclassical stone arches, very similar to the European triumphal arches. The arches are 26 feet wide and 46 feet high, with the citys coat of arms engraved on the middle of each arch.

In its entirety, the construction is 69 feet high as it has a second floor from which you can enjoy a panoramic view of the surrounding area, and of course, of the Minerva statue. On its side columns there are some fountain nooks made with white, blue and yellow tiles from Tlaquepaque. At the top of each nook there is a quarry carved fish head, from which water flows. On the western side, you can read a welcoming message: "Guadalajara, city of hospitality" and on the eastern side a farewell message reads: "A pleasant stay, guarantees your return." This room served for some time as the offices for the Secretary of Tourism, until in 1959 it became the Hall of Flags, and it now  houses the flags of all the countries in the American continent.

Next to the arches we can find two small squares. On one side there are two black quarry statues, one depicting the writer Mariano Azuela, and on the other we have painter José Clemente Orozco. Whose home and workshop is only a short walk away and has since become an art museum. Later on, the fountain and the statue of the Glorieta Minerva were built, but that's another story.

Currently, the arches are no longer at the exit of Guadalajara, but they continue to adorn it with their beauty and dignity.