The word “Zalaya” is Basque in origin and means “Flat Land”. On the 12th of October, 1570, Celaya was founded as the first town in El Bajío, known, from then on, as Villa de Nuestra Señora de la Purísima Concepción de Zalaya. Later, in 1658, it was granted the title of Very Noble and Loyal City by the king, Felipe IV. It soon took on the function of supplying the needs of the mining centres, since its cereal production covered local needs and obtained good surpluses for the regional market.
Its great demographic growth and participation in processes of urbanisation and industrial and tourist development with the architectural works of its own renowned Francisco Eduardo Tresguerras has placed it among the most important cities of the state, in addition to possessing an excellent location and easy access by double-lane highways. Famous for its high quality in the production of custard creams, as well as its delicious "cajetas", which can be found in a wide variety of flavours such as vanilla, wine-coloured, burnt, and with pecans, pine nut and coconut.
- Mummy Museum: a recently created museum that has a permanent exhibit of 22 mummified corpses. Exhibits include a description of the mummification process. Tours can also be made of the monuments and tombs in the cemetery. Location: old Celaya Pantheon.
- Column of Independence: project and construction by the artist Tresguerras, this is the first monument erected in the country to Free and Sovereign Mexico.
- Water Tower: also known as "Bola de Agua", it has become the symbol of the city and was inaugurated during the celebration of the first centenary of the Proclamation of Independence.
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