Torreón lies midway between Chihuahua and Zacatecas, in the east of Durango state, and that’s the best reason to stop here. That, and to use it as a base to visit Mina Ojuela. Despite an attractive Plaza de Armas with several fountains, lots of trees and frequent goings-on, overall this is one ugly city. To be fair, several of its museums are excellent and the people are as pleasant as elsewhere in the north.
The 1911 battle for Torreón was Pancho Villa’s División del Norte’s first big victory in the Mexican Revolution, giving him control of the railways that radiate from the city. Villa personally led three later battles for Torreón over the next few years. During one, his troops, in their revolutionary zeal, slaughtered some 300 Chinese immigrants.