Founded in 1528, Taxco de Alarcón (originally named Tlachco)
grew up on the dry hillsides of Guerrero around and because of the rich silver deposits found in the area.
In 1580 poet and playwright Juan Ruiz de Alarcón was born in this mining city, and in 1872 Taxco's name was
officially converted to "Taxco de Alarcón".
In 1708, Don José's brother had spent most of his family's fortune to buy an old concession of the steep hills
west of the city, and, picks in hand, commenced on working the mines. Shortly after, José de la Borda joined him and discovered
the vein of a lifetime, named San Ignacio, and soon attained the wealth he had sought.
A devout Christian and a very generous man, Borda commissioned the seven year long construction of the Parish
of Santa Prisca, giving rise to the famous words: "God gives to Borda, Borda gives to God". On February 12, 1751, Borda obtained
a decree from the Viceroy to build the church, and offered to finance the whole construction on condition that neither the
catholic order nor the Viceroy would ever interfere with the project.
1931-Dwight Morrow, the US Ambassador to Mexico, suggested to William
Spratling (known throughout Mexico as "The Father of Mexican Silver") that Taxco had been the site of silver mines for
centuries, Taxco had never been considered a location where jewelry and objects of silver were designed and made. Spratling
hired an experienced goldsmith from Iguala who moved to Taxco and created silver jewelry from Spratling’s designs. Other
craftsmen joined Spratling's shop and the enterprise grew far and beyond Spratling’s expectations! He had created
an apprentice system of training young silversmiths, many of these new and talented artisans had an opportunity
to develop their craft. Over time many of these artisans opened shops of their own. What Spratling created continues to flourish
today in Taxco.
Today Santa Prisca is both the visual and historical center of Taxco, and the great cost of its elaborate
construction and interior decorations nearly bankrupted Borda. He was even forced to sell the monstrance he had initially
given to the church.
On March 19, 1990 Taxco, with its colonial architecture, cobblestone streets that wind narrowly up and down
the hillside, and the magnificent Temple of Santa Prisca on Borda Plaza, was decreed a National Historical monument. Taxco
is at an altitude of 5396 feet above sea level.