The first inhabitants of la Villa de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción
By: Ilse Díaz Márquez
After the arrival of Cortés and the fall of Tenochtitlán in 1521, many Spanish Conquistadores ventured north in search of fortune.
The lands they found were more arid than those they had found in Veracruz and in the Valley of Mexico and were inhabited by indigenous peoples who were mostly nomadic, moving around the rudimentary roads that connected New Spain to this far-flung part of the territory, named New Galicia.
From the very beginning the roads were attacked by bands of Chichimecas. The attacks were so constant that a war broke out and was fought throughout the second half of the sixteenth century.
Due to these conflicts, the Spanish established fortified towns along the route, which served as resting places for travelers. This is why Santa Maria de Los Lagos was established in 1563 and, several years later, settlers from there left to found the city of Aguascalientes.
Located half-way along the route between Zacatecas and Guadalajara, the town of Aguascalientes played an important role in the economic life of New Galicia throughout the colonial period. This was largely due to the development of agriculture and commerce in the surrounding areas. Today, all the people of Aguascalientes are in some way linked to those early years and to those first settlers – Spanish, indigenous, mulattos and mestizos who dared to venture into uninhabited lands and, driven by an adventurous spirit and desire for riches, founded a small town close to some hot-water springs.
The Founding of the Town
October 22, 1575
The founding of the city is attributed to the arrival of Don Juan de Montoro, who presented a petition to found a town in this place.
Montoro was accompanied by Jerónimo de la Cueva y Alonso de Alarcón. However, it was Jerónimo de Orozco, President of the Court, who signed the Royal Charter, emitted by Phillip II, allowing the establishment of this new territory, on October 22, 1575.