City (pop., 2000: 411,582) and port on the Gulf of Mexico, east-central Veracruz state, east-central Mexico. Hernán Cortés founded La Villa Rica de la Veracruz as the first Mexican municipality in 1519, but the site was twice abandoned because of its unhealthy conditions; the present city dates from circa 1600. As the chief link between colonial Mexico and Spain, Veracruz prospered as a port and became the most “Spanish” of Mexican cities. It was attacked and captured repeatedly, first by privateers, then by French and U.S. forces (see Veracruz incident). It was renamed Veracruz Llave in honour of Gen. Ignacio de la Llave, governor of Veracruz state (1857–60). Both the 1857 and 1917 Mexican constitutions were proclaimed there. A revolt against Pres. Francisco Madero occurred there in 1912. It is one of Mexico's chief seaports and a commercial centre for the Gulf coast.
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Veracruz borders the states of Tamaulipas to the north, Oaxaca and Chiapas to the south, Tabasco to the southeast, Puebla, Hidalgo, and San Luis Potosí to the west, and the Gulf of Mexico to the east.
On the coastal plains and throughout most of the state, the climate is hot and humid. On the foothills of the mountains, the climate is cool and humid. The climate only becomes cold in the mountain regions, where it also rains copiously. Veracruz is occasionally affected by hurricanes from June through October.
This state has a tropical climate and impressive natural scenery, such as the Citlaltépetl Volcano (also known as Pico de Orizaba), the highest peak in the nation. You’ll also see picturesque cities and towns that have preserved their local architecture. Along the coast you can visit the Costa Esmeralda, a beach strip north of the port, and the archaeological zone of El Tajin, which also was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Its capital is Xalapa, located in the central western part of the state. With more than 7 million inhabitants, the state of Veracruz is the third most populous in the nation, after the Federal District and the State of Mexico.
It was from this base in August 1519 that Cortez began his course of conquest inland to Tenochtitlan, Mexico, while his subsidiary conquistador commanders pacified other regions that today shape the entity of Veracruz.
From this beginning, Veracruz as the entry point for conquest, became the principal point of communication and harbor between Spain and New Spain. From this port were shipped many products to Europe like cotton, rice, wheat, domestic animals, gun powder, textiles, wine and all the considerable produce from this rich colony and particular territory.
The State of Veracruz, produces and exports:
La Antigua was the second settlement after "La Villa Rica de la Veracruz". It is located 25 kilometers from Veracruz City. It features the house of Hernán Cortés. It is a small town that holds the oldest still-standing Catholic chapel built in the American continent.
Papantla was founded by Totonacs. It is located 198 meters above sea level between the Cazones and Tecolutla rivers.
El Tajin (City of Thunder) the main ceremonial center of the Totonacs, is located near 3 miles from Papantla, a beautiful and impressive antique city, ruins and traditions are founded there.
Traditionally, the (Spanish) accent of Veracruz resembles Caribbean Spanish, with strong tendency to drop syllable final -S/-Z as in the Cuban accent.
Yet under the influence of the capital, this feature has weakened among the younger generation.
The municipalities are grouped into the following regions (regiones):