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Guanajuaro Travel Guide

Guanajuato's History

Born of Silver
Founded by the Spaniards at the beginning of the 16th century, the city of Guanajuato, capital of the state of the same name, situated in the centre of Mexico, soon became the silver-mining centre of the world.

Born of the mines, Guanajuato has always lived in a kind of symbiosis with them: the organisation of the streets, most of all, the colourful “underground streets”, the building of sumptuous churches such as the one belonging to the Jesuits and the Valenciana, among the most beautiful examples of baroque architecture in Latin America, the construction of numerous dams and hydraulic installations, the drilling of mineshafts, the most striking of which, La Boca del Infierno, goes 600 metres underground, are intimately bound up with its industrial history.

Guanajuato, a city named "Cultural Heritage of Humanity" by UNESCO in 1988, for the magnificent colonial buildings that make up its architecture, has an atmosphere that takes us back to the past. Cultural manifestations surge out of its theatres, churches and museums, squares, markets and side streets. Hundred-year-old buildings where heroic battles were fought and immortal romances live on in legend. Balconies and facades that saw the passage of figures like Hidalgo, Allende, Juárez, Maximilian and Porfirio Díaz. In the pre-Hispanic period the territory now occupied by the city of Guanajuato was chiefly inhabited by nomadic tribes generically known as Chichimecas (Pames, Guamares, Guanaxuas, etc.,) who lived by hunting and gathering.