The city of Taxco, in the state of Guerrero, has been associated with silver throughout its history. Silver was mined here even before the arrival of the Spanish in 1524. But the Spanish, of course, seized the mines and began operating them for their own profit. As mining grew, Taxco developed in a haphazard manner up and down the nearby mountains.

Development accelerated after the arrival of José de la Borda, a French miner who went on to amass immense wealth. Some of Borda's mines are still in operation. In gratitude for his good fortune, Borda built Taxco's central cathedral, the Parish Church of Saint Prisca and Saint Sebastian (known generally as Saint Prisca). He also lent his name to Taxco's main plaza, the Plaza de la Borda.

In building Saint Prisca, Borda spared no expense and the church is an outstanding example of 18th century Mexican baroque art. The front facade of the church is richly carved and two ornate bell towers rise up on either side. The interior of the church is decorated with fine oil paintings and a series of elaborately carved gilded wood altars (which, unfortunately, need a good cleaning).

Moving away from the central Plaza de la Borda, Taxco is a maze of narrow, winding streets that traverse the hillsides. Walking around the city is likely to have all but the fittest visitors stopping from time to time to catch their breath (and possibly to yield to a car driving along the cramped streets). Houses and other buildings in Taxco are whitewashed, with red tile roofs, and seem to make the clear blue skies appear even bluer. A cable car (teleferico) is available outside the city center to take visitors to the summit of one of the nearby hills for a panorama over the entire city.

If you are in the market for silver jewelry, you will have plenty of choice in Taxco. There are many shops around the Plaza de la Borda and a large store across from the Tourist Information Office on Route 95.