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Monterrey, Mexico

This article is about the Mexican city; for other uses, see Monterrey (disambiguation).

Monterrey is the capital city of the Mexican state of Nuevo León, well known for its industries, particularly beer, finance, glass, and steel. Carta Blanca, Bohemia, Sol, Casta, Indio, XX, and Noche Buena are examples of the beers produced in the city. Vitro figures as one of the most important glass factories in North America. CEMEX, the world wide conglomerate of cement, concrete, and building materials, has its headquarters there. Banorte is the only Mexican bank controlled by Mexicans. The steel industry used to be led by the "Compañía Fundidora de Fierro y Acero de Monterrey", popularly known as Fundidora, which went broke in the mid-1980's. Today, the remains of the Fundidora factory have been transformed into the beautiful Fundidora Park, which hosts a CART serial once a year.

Monterrey is located in northeastern Mexico, and its has about 1.1 million inhabitants, although the metro area (San Pedro Garza Garcia, San Nicolás de los Garza, Apodaca, Guadalupe, Escobedo, and Santa Catarina) add another 3.5 million.

Table of contents
1 Geography
2 Famous Places
3 Brief History
4 Food
5 Sports
6 Famous People


Located at 25.9°N 100.2°W, in the Northeastern Mexican state of Nuevo León. Monterrey is the capital of the state. The Santa Catarina river crosses the city, and is dry for most of the year, except during the rain season.

Monterrey is nicknamed la ciudad de las montañas (City of Mountains) since it is surrounded by them. The Sierra Madre Oriental crosses south of the city, in the suburb of San Pedro Garza Garcia. A small, dead volcano, the Cerro del Topo, and its smaller Topo Chico are located in the suburb of San Nicolás de los Garza. West of the city, the Cerro de las Mitras is located. East of the city, the iconic, Cerro de la Silla dominates the view. South of the Santa Catarina river, the Loma Larga separates Monterrey from the suburb of San Pedro Garza Garcia. North of the river, the Cerro del Obispado host at the summit the Bishop's Palace, where one of the most important battles in the Mexican-American War was fought.

Famous Places

Brief History

In the mid 1500s, the area was unexplored and known as Extremadura Valley. Several unsuccessful expeditions led by Alberto del Canto had tried to colonize the area. An expedition led by Luis Carvajal y de la Cueva established a settlement in the area called Saint Louis, King of France but was frustrated by the Spanish Inquisition. A third expedition of twelve families led by Diego de Montemayor founded Monterrey on September 20, 1596, next to a spring called Ojos de Agua de Santa Lucia, where the National Museum of Mexican History is located.

During the years of Spanish Rule, Monterrey was a place that connected trade between San Antonio (nowadays in Texas), Tampico, and Saltillo. Tampico's port brought many products from Europe, while Saltillo concentrated the Northern Territories trade with the capital, Mexico City. San Antonio was the key trade point with the northern foreign colonies (British and French).

After the Mexican Independence War, Monterrey rose as a key economical center for the newly formed nation, specially since its balanced ties between Europe (with its connections to Tampico), the United States (with its connections to San Antonio), and the capital (through Saltillo). However, the anarchy that followed the first 50 years of the new country allowed for two American Invasions, and a secession war. Monterrey became capital of the State of Nuevo León, which during its endeavor to become an independent country, annexed the state of Coahuila.

Most of the generals in the Mexican War against France are indigenous to this city, including Mariano Escobedo, Juan Zuazua and Jerónimo Treviño.

During the last decade of the XIX Century, the city of Monterrey was benefited with the access to the railroads, which favored the industry. It was during this period that José Eleuterio Gonzalez, "Gonzalitos", founded the Colegio Civil, an early effort to create a university in Nuevo León.

Don Eugenio Garza Sada also founded, in 1943, the most important private university in Latin America, the Monterrey Institute of Technology (Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, ITESM or Tec). This University has evolved into being one of the best business schools in Latin America, and it also excels in engineering disciplines.

By the mid 20th Century, in a country were state-owned companies sustained the economy, Monterrey shined brightly as one of the most important economic districts in the land due to its strong private industry.

In the last decades of the XX Century, "El Norte", a newspaper founded by Junco de la Vega, became important due to its great efforts to denounce government corruption, and due to its principles of independence in journalism. Today, the newspaper has evolved into the famous Reforma news group, comprising the original El Norte, Reforma in Mexico City, Mural in Guadalajara and Palabra in Saltilllo.

In 1987, Hurricane Gilberto caused great damage to the city, flooding the Santa Catarina River and causing deaths and economic damages.

In 2002, the United Nations' Forum for Economic Development was held in the city, grouping heads of state and heads of government from over 50 countries. Cuban President Fidel Castro, left the meeting before George W. Bush, the American President, arrived. Allegedly, the Mexican government asked Castro to leave in such conditions.


Typical Monterrey cuisine includes machacado con huevo, a dish prepared with dry beef, eggs, and salsa. Perhaps the most traditional dish from Monterrey is cabrito al pastor, a young goat cooked in embers based in the jewish cuisine of the founders of the city.


Monterrey has one football (soccer) team in the Mexican league, the Club de Fútbol Monterrey known as the Rayados. Another team, the Club Tigres de la UANL play in the nearby town of San Nicolás de los Garza where the public university is located. The city also hosted many official games during the 1986 FIFA World Cup.

Another sport, baseball, has a long tradition in the city, where it became the most popular sport during the early XX Century. Monterrey has conquered twice the Little League World Tournament and often host Major League games. In the Mexican league, the Sultanes, are one of the strongest teams every season and in the year 2003, they attempted to buy the Montreal Expos franchise in the MLB.

Monterrey also has a basketball team, Fuerza Regia, which plays in the Mexican league and host the CART serial once a year.

Famous People

Famous people from Monterrey include:

Monterrey is the only city that exist with that name. It is sometimes known as Old Monterrey since it was founded before Monterey, California, which is spelled with only one "R". In Spain, the original city that inspired both names is called Monterrei, with an "I" at the end.