Central West, Mexico
Historically, Guanajuato was one of Mexico's richest states. Abundant in mines of silver, gold, lead, zinc and iron, it is said that Guanajuato state held for two centuries 30% to 40% of the world's silver mines. Together with the state of Querétaro, Guanajuato was home of the political and "literary societies" hosted by the creole class (Mexicans of Spanish descendants) to draw up plans for rebellion in the early 19th century. The state is rich in colonial architecture built from the wealthy and prosperous past. Nowadays, Guanajuato has some important industrial centres like Salamanca (with a big oil refinery), León (known by its shoes and other leather goods), Irapuatao and Celaya; and its known for its agricultural products such as vegetables, strawberies and grain.
Alhóndiga de Granaditas
A history and art museum, the Alhóndiga de Granaditas was the site of the first major rebel victory in Mexico's War of Independence. Built between 1798 and 1808 as a grain and seed storehouse, the Alhóndiga became in 1810 a fortress for Spanish troops and royalist leaders who barricade themselves inside when Miguel Hidalgo led 20,000 rebels to take Guanajuato. A young Indian miner, Juan Joé de los Reyes, nicknamed El Pípila, set the gates on fire, killing most of the Spaniards inside. The Alhóndiga was also used as a prison for a century from 1864, becoming a museum in 1967. Open Tuesday to Saturday from 9 am to 2 pm and 4 am to 6 pm, Sunday from 10 am to 2:30 pm. Closed on Monday. Admission: 2 USD. Free on Sunday.
This monument honours the hero who set the Alhóndiga gates ablaze on 28 September 1810, letting Hidalgo's supporters to win the first victory of the independence movement. The views of the city offered from the terraces at the statue's feet are splendid.
Universidad de Guanajuato
The University of Guanajuato is considered one of Mexico's finest schools for music and theatre, hosting a Spanish language programme for foreign students. The University is home of three art galleries, and the Museo de Historia Natural Alfredo Dugés (Natural History Museum of Alfredo Dugés).
Museo Casa Diego Rivera
The birthplace of Diego Rivera, one of Mexico's best known muralist, is a museum that contains a small collection of his work. The museum also includes family portraits, 19th century antiques and fine furniture. Open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 am to 1:30 pm and 4 to 6:30 pm; Sunday 10 am to 2:30 pm. Closed on Monday. Admission: 1.5 USD.
Museo de las Momias
This unique museum, located at the cemetery on the western outskirts of the town displays over 100 mummified human corpses of people once buried in the cemetery. The bodies preserved in grotesque forms and facial expressions because of the mineral properties of the soil. Open daily from 9 am to 5 pm. Admission: 2 USD.
Mexico Regional Landmarks
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Image supplied by Isabel Carranza