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Encyclopedia > Real de Catorce

The village of Real de Catorce (pronounced [reˈal de kaˈtoɾse]), often shortened to Real is located 160 miles northwest of San Luis Potosi, Mexico. The village of Real de Catorce sits on the side of a mountain at more than 2.743 meters (9,000 feet). It is situated in the Sierra de Catorce Mountain Range, one of the highest plateaus in Mexico, where the summits may extend over 10,000 feet. San Luis Potosí is the name of a city and a state in Mexico. ...


Although the town had been there for many years, silver was discovered in the local mountains in 1772 and a few years later in 1779 the village was officially founded. Nowadays, its main income comes from tourism. Several major commercial motion pictures have been filmed in Real including Bandidas (featuring Salma Hayek and Penelope Cruz), The Mexican (featuring Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts), and some scenes of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (featuring Humphrey Bogart). Year 1772 (MDCCLXXII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a leap year starting on Sunday of the 11-day slower Julian calendar). ... 1779 was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... Tourist redirects here. ... Bandidas, a 2006 movie starring Penelope Cruz and Salma Hayek, tells the tale of two very different women in turn-of-the-century Mexico who become a bank robbing duo in an effort to combat a ruthless enforcer terrorising their town. ... Salma Hayek Jiménez (born September 2, 1966) is an Academy Award-, Golden Globe- and Emmy-nominated Mexican/American actress, Daytime Emmy-winning director, and an Emmy-nominated TV and film producer. ... Penelope Cruz Penélope Cruz Sánchez, nicknamed simply Pe, (born April 28, 1974) is a Spanish actress. ... The Mexican redirects here. ... William Bradley Brad Pitt (born December 18, 1963) is an Academy award-nominated American actor, film producer, and social activist. ... Julia Fiona Roberts (born October 28, 1967) is an Academy Award-winning American film actress and former fashion model. ... The Treasure of the Sierra Madre is John Hustons 1948 black and white adaptation of B. Travens eponymous 1927 novel The Treasure of the Sierra Madre , in which two American down-and-outers (Humphrey Bogart and Tim Holt) in 1920s Mexico hook up with an old-timer (Walter... Bogart redirects here. ...

Originally founded in 1779 as Nuestra Señora de la Purisima Concepcion de los Alamos de Catorce, this once thriving silver mining town presently has a full time population of under 1,000 residents. Its Colonial style buildings, picturesque surroundings and remote location have made Real del Catorce a popular movie set. Several Hollywood films that have been shot there. Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, and James Gandolfini shot the movie The Mexican in Real de Catorce, as were some scenes from Las Bandidas with Penélope Cruz, Salma Hayek, Steve Zahn, Dwight Yoakam and Sam Shepard. Sections of the area were also used as scenes in John Huston's The Treasure of Sierra Madre with Humphrey Bogart, Walter Huston and Tim Holt.


The main road to Real de Catorce leaves Highway 62 between Matehuala and San Tiburcio. This is roughly to the east of Real, near the town of Cedral. From the main highway there is a 17 mile cobblestone road which rises into the sierra, then the 1.5 mile long Ogarrio Tunnel which only accepts vehicles one way (with travelers in and out having to wait their turn.)

There is another 4 wheel drive only road to the west of Real; which leads from Estacion Catorce into Real de Catorce. Be careful, as some maps show this road as the way into town; it is not passable by ordinary passenger vehicles.

Thousands of pilgrims visit the Parish of Immaculate Conception the week around the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi on October 4 to express their gratitude for favors granted. Inside the church are hundreds of Retalbas attesting to the miracles that have been performed.

Huichol Indians walk across miles of desert from Nayarit, Durango, Jalisco and Zacatecas to visit the valley of Catorce every spring to leave religious offerings at the "Cerro Quamado", a ceremonial center to the east of their mystical reliqious territory. Quemado is, according to their ancestral beliefs, the birthplace of their "Tatewari" or Grandfather Fire.

During this time, they also visit the "Wirikuta" or desert below Real de Catorce to gather a year's supply of sacred nourishment in the form of peyote or "hikuri", the magical cactus that they use to guide their path and consciousness. Though found throughout the region, the cacti in the Wirikuta purportedly produce the most desired crop.

At other times of the year, there is a continious pilgrimage of people of all ages and nationalities, motivated by the writings of Carlos Castaneda. They travel thousands of miles to arrive at this sacred site and experience a mystical communion with the magical cactus. So much so, in fact, that the government has mounted a campaign to protect the cactus from the so-called "peyote tourists." It is illegal for for anyone but Huichol Indians to possess. Carlos Castaneda (December 25, 1925/31? – April 27, 1998) was a Peruvian- or Brazilian-born American author. ...

Others come to Real de Catorce for health reasons. At almost 9,000 feet the city is an excellent training ground for bicyclists and runners. Matthew McConaughey, the actor, is a frequent visitor as he enjoys running in the area. Matthew David McConaughey (born November 4, 1969) is an American actor. ...

Although in the southern range of the Chihuahuan desert, due to its altitude, Real can be very cool at night. Although days, particularly in summer, can be very hot, it is advised to always bring a jacket, even in summer.

Real de Catorce was named a "Pueblo Mágico" in 2001.

External links

Coordinates: 23°42′N, 100°59′W Wikitravel is a project to create an open content, complete, up-to-date, and reliable world-wide travel guide. ... Map of Earth showing lines of latitude (horizontally) and longitude (vertically), Eckert VI projection; large version (pdf, 1. ...

  Results from FactBites:
Real de Catorce (2816 words)
Catorce lives more in imagination than reality, in a world of bandidos and grandees, of pilgrims and milagros, of John Huston and a stubble-faced Bogart lurching toward fate on an ore-laden mule.
This was the chapel of the Virgen de los Dolores, built in memory of miners who had lost their lives deep inside the mountain.
Catorce was the second richest source of silver in Mexico, and Mexico produced as much silver as the rest of the world combined.
  More results at FactBites »



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