Automaton Clocks of Aguascalientes
Public clocks around the city chime with bullfights, cockfights, old railways, and other local traditions.
The city of Aguascalientes is well known for the bullfights and cockfights of the Feria de San Marcos, Mexico’s largest national fair. Fewer people know about the public automation clocks that can be found around the city, representing the essence of the local culture.
One is the bullfight clock tower at the top of the Hotel Fiesta Americana. It opens its doors at 12:00, 15:00, 17:00 and 19:00 hours, important times of day in the bullfight tradition. As the “Paso Doble of Silverio Pérez” song plays, a bull appears around a tiny bullfighter. It is a local tradition to shout “Olé!” when the bull crosses the bullfighter’s coat.
Another clock is at the Templo del Señor del Encino. Every hour when the clock sounds, wooden doors open below and a tiny Jesus appears blessing the parishioners.
The cockfight clock is found at the Centro Comercial Plaza Patria in the center of the city. On this one, two stuffed roosters appear in front of the audience and start to fight. The music that accompanies the show is “Pelea de Gallos,” a famous song from Aguascalientes. The amazing part is that sometimes the people bet on the roosters because the winner of the clock fight is random each time.
Next to the Tres Centurias Park are the most impressive clocks. One appears from a basement and shows a model of the ancient, demolished train station of Aguascalientes in working condition. The other is a 60-foot mural called “La Maestranza.” It gives the hour at 20:00 and 21:00 hours with a light show. For a few minutes, it explains the history of the trains of Aguascalientes—how they arrived in the city, how they disappeared, and most importantly, how useful it was for passengers to tell the time with a public clock.
As of February 2022: The clock is currently out of order.
Know Before You Go
The map coordinates are for the La Maestranza mural clock. It is located next to the Plaza de las Tres Centurias historic complex and train museum.
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