Place Names


State of Mexico, currently Durango. Conquered and colonised by Francisco de Ibarra, it has an area of 98,470 square metres and 919,000 inhabitants, 137,000 of whom live in its capital, Durango. The first N. Vizcaya was much larger, including Chihuahua. The capital is situated at 1,892 m. a., at the foot of the Cerro Mercado. Francisco de Ibarra had moved to N. Spain under the protection of his uncle Diego de Ibarra, one of the founders of Zacatecas. "The Biscayan D. Diego de Ibarra was very powerful in estates and a knight of the habit of Santiago", writes Fray Juan de Torquemada in his work Los veintiún rituales y Monarquía Indiana (The Twenty-One Rituals and the Indiana Monarchy). This work consists of three vols. The first is dedicated to the kingdoms, origins and customs of Spain; the second compares the ancient customs with those of the Indians, and the third deals with ecclesiastical matters. This work, written 1609 and 1613, was published in Seville in 1615. Francisco de Ibarra was born in Eibar in 1539 and died in Chiametla, Mexico, in 1575. He began his explorations in 1554. From that year until 1563 he travelled through extensive territories rich in minerals Zacatecas and Chihuahua. In 1562 he was appointed Adelantando and Captain General of Nueva Vizcaya, and the following year he undertook the conquest and colonisation of the territory, where he founded Durango and Madre de Dios. He founded silver-working and cattle ranches. He developed cattle and horse breeding. The foundation of Durango took place as follows: having commissioned Captain Pacheco to found a town, he gave him a large number of cows, mares, sheep, corn and ammunition, all at his own expense. This foundation was made in 1563. Pacheco gave it the name of Guadiana, but Ibarra constituted it as Durango, leaving the name of Guadiana for the valley of his seat. He divided the land equally, reserving only one grazing site for livestock and two plots of land for orchards and farm work. The Aviño silver mine was left for those who wished to exploit it on the sole condition that they resided in Durango. The first Spanish settlers numbered 14. The city was attacked in 1616 by 25,000 Indians who were repulsed by the colonists. The attacks by the natives persisted until the middle of the 19th century. In 1760, the viceroyalty of New Spain was established. Its booming economy led to the founding of the Mint. It did not join the independence movement and Durango was taken by General Negrete in 1821. The territory became a state in 1824. Its first government was liberal. In 1864 it fell to the French under Emperor Maximilian. In 1866, the Republicans recaptured the capital and Benito Juárez established his government for a short time. In 1910 it joined the Maderista revolution. The state is inhabited by Nahuatl, Zacatecas and Tepeguan Indians, with some 12,000 Tepehuanes remaining. Adopted the coat of arms of the Señorío de Vizcaya.