JALAPA, Xalapa, or Halapa, a city of the state of Vera Cruz, Mexico, 70 m. by rail N.W. of the port of Vera Cruz. Pop. (1900), 20,388. It is picturesquely situated on the slopes of the sierra which separates the central plateau from the tierra caliente of the Gulf Coast, at an elevation of 4300 ft., and with the Cofre de Perote behind it rising to a height of 1 3 ,419 ft. Its climate is cool and healthy and the town is frequented in the hot season by the wealthier residents of Vera Cruz. The city is well built, in the old Spanish style. Among its public buildings are a fine old church, a Franciscan convent founded by Cortez in 1556, and three hospitals, one of which, that of San Juan de Dios, dates from colonial times. The neighbouring valleys and slopes are fertile, and in the forests of this region is found the plant (jalap), which takes its name from the place. Jalapa was for a time the capital of the state, but its political and commercial importance has declined since the opening of the railway between Vera Cruz and the city of Mexico. It manufactures pottery and leather.
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