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Santiago Tuxtla

Santiago Tuxtla is a small city and municipality in the Los Tuxtlas region of southern Veracruz, Mexico. The area was originally part of lands granted to Hernán Cortés by the Spanish Crown in 1531. The city was founded in 1525, but it did not gain municipal status until 1932. Today, the municipality is poor and agricultural, but is home to several unique traditions such as the Santiago Tuxtla Fair and the Acarreo de Niño Dios, when images of the Child Jesus are carried in procession several times during the Christmas season. It is also home to the Museo Regional Tuxteco (Tuxtla Regional Museum) which houses much of the area’s Olmec artifacts, including a number of colossal heads and other monumental stone works. The city’s main plaza hosts the largest Olmec colossal head in Mexico.The cityThe city of Santiago Tuxtla is centered on a large square called Parque Juarez, which contains the largest of the Olmec colossal heads in Mexico, La Corbata.The other main focus of the city center is the Museo Regional Tuxteco (Tuxtla Regional Museum). This museum was founded in 1961 to display and preserve the area’s pre Hispanic and colonial heritage, coming under the management of the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia in 1975. The museum building was renovated in the 2010s. The museum building is the former “municipal palace” (city hall) which was constructed in 1880 with an arched portico. Inside there are three main halls. Two of these are dedicated mostly to Olmec pieces, including colossal stone sculptures as well as some Totonac pieces, all from Veracruz. One of the most important pieces is the Hueyapan Head, a 20-ton colossal head in volcanic stone. The third hall is dedicated to pieces related to the area’s colonial history.
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