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Chapala

Trip Planner Mexico  /  Jalisco  /  Chapala
(3.5/5 based on 260+ reviews for 3 attractions)
Things to do: historic sites, nature, golf
Chapala is a town and municipality in the central Mexican state of Jalisco, located on the north shore of Lake Chapala, Mexico's largest freshwater lake. According to the 2005 census, its population is 43,345 for the municipality. The municipality includes about 10,000 in the town of Ajijic.HistoryAlthough there are several theories as to the origin of the city's name, the most likely is that it comes from Chapalac, the name of the last chief of the Nahuatl-speaking indigenous people of the region. Chapala became an official municipality on September 10, 1864, by decree of the Jalisco State Congress.CultureIn the late 1940s the American writer Tennessee Williams settled in Chapala for a while to work on a play called The Poker Night, which later became A Streetcar Named Desire. As Williams explains in his essay "The Catastrophe of Success," Chapala offered him an ideal place to work, "a remote place among strangers where there is good swimming."During the First World War, in 1915, Norwegian speculators intended to make Chapala a luxury resort town. A railway was to be built, with separate carriages for black and white people. In addition to the railway, the speculators would also provide two motor vessels to trafficate the lake with connections to the other small towns at the lake shore. A first class hotel was to be built, as well as an automobile club with attached casino. An extensive dam, 8 kilometers long to provide dry land with plots for luxury dwellings. What the shareholders in the company, "Compania di Fromento di Chapala" received, was only phographs of railway carriages and locomotives. See the book; Gullfeber by Kr.Fr.Brøgger, published in Oslo 1932.
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