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Trip Planner Mexico  /  Central Mexico and Gulf Coast  /  Veracruz  /  Xalapa

Xalapa

3.7
Specialty Museums · Parks · History Museums
Xalapa is the capital city of the Mexican state of Veracruz and the name of the surrounding municipality. In the 2005 census the city reported a population of 387,879 and the municipality of which it serves as municipal seat reported a population of 413,136. The municipality has an area of 118.45 km². Xalapa lies near the geographic center of the state and is the second-largest city in the state after the city of Veracruz to the southeast.EtymologyThe name Xalapa comes from the Nahuatl roots xālli "sand" and āpan "water place", which approximately means "spring in the sand." It is classically pronounced in Nahuatl, though the final is often omitted; the sound (like English sh) was written x in the 16th century. This does not occur in modern Spanish, and its counterpart is the or sound, normally written j. The spelling Xalapa (like the word México) reflects the archaic pronunciation. Xalapa is pronounced or, the latter pronunciation used mostly in dialects of southern Mexico, the Caribbean, much of Central America, some places in South America, and the Canary Islands and western Andalusia in Spain where has become a voiceless glottal fricative.The full name of the city is Xalapa-Enríquez, given in honor of 19th-century Governor Juan de la Luz Enríquez. The city's nickname, La ciudad de las flores ("The City of Flowers"), was bestowed by Alexander von Humboldt, who visited the town on 10 February 1804. The reference is also related to the city's earlier colonial history. In folklore, the Spaniards believed that Xalapa was the birthplace and home of the most beautiful woman in the world, the Florecita, which literally means "little flower".
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