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Guanajuato’s narrow, winding streets, many for pedestrians only, mirror a fascinating system of subterranean roads that were once rivers and mines. Steeped in history, it was one of Mexico’s richest cities thanks to its silver mines. The historic town and adjacent mines are a World Heritage Site. Guanajuato was founded in 1554. It is located in one of the richest silver mining areas of Mexico, and is well known for its wealth of fine colonial era Spanish architecture.

The Spanish name "Guanajuato" comes from Quanaxhuato (or Kuanasiutu in a different orthography), meaning "Hill of Frogs" in the local indigenous P'urhépecha language (a large rock formation outside the town looks remarkably like a frog). In the native religion of the P'urhépecha the frog represented the god of wisdom.

Guanajuato La Valentina- Mexico
Guanajuato Cathedral and University - Mexico
Guanajuato Park - Mexico

Guanajuato Street - Mexico

Guanajuato is the capital of the state of the same name, at an elevation of 1,996 m (6,550 ft) above sea level, the 2005 census population registered 70,798 people in the city. The municipality includes numerous smaller outlying communities, the largest of which are Marfil, Yerbabuena, and Santa Teresa. Guanajuato, although it is the state capital, is only the fifth-largest city in the state, behind León, Irapuato, Celaya, and Salamanca.

The city played a major role in the Mexican War of Independence since it is the capital of the state of Guanajuato in which Miguel Hidalgo started the independence movement. The statue of El Pípila and the Alhóndiga de Granaditas still remind of that time. The city of Guanajuato was the birthplace of artist Diego Rivera, whose house is now a museum.

Guanajuato Cathedral - Mexico Guanajuato University - Mexico


Guanajuato Juarez theater - Mexico The city was originally built over the Guanajuato River, which flowed through tunnels underneath the city. Later, engineers built a dam and redirected the river into underground caverns. The tunnels were lit and paved with cobblestones, today this underground road network connected to some old mines carries the majority of cars driving through the city. It is one of the most notable features of the city.

During the final week of July, Guanajuato and San Miguel de Allende are co-hosts to the Expresión en Corto International Film Festival, a large competitive film festival and one of the most prestigious of its kind in Latin America. The internationally renowned festival is free to the public and screens over 400 films from 10 am until 4 am each day in 16 venues, which include such unusual locations as the subterranean streets and tunnels of Guanajuato, the Guanajuato Mummy Museum and Municipal graveyard or Panteones.

Guanajuato Underground Street - Mexico Guanajuato Canal Street - Mexico

Each October the city holds the Festival Internacional Cervantino, an international arts festival named after Miguel de Cervantes. The festival is a popular draw for students from across central Mexico, as well as participants and spectators from around the world.



 

Cristo Rey del Cubilete (Christ the King Shrine) is one of Mexico's most important religious monuments, and is said to mark the geographic center of Mexico. The 65-foot statue atop Cerro del Cubilete is the destination of an annual cabalgata (pilgrimage) every January to celebrate the Epiphany, when thousands of mostly horse-ridding pilgrims. Guanajuato Castle of Santa Monica Hotel - Mexico Guanajuato Mine - Mexico   Guanajuato Cubilete - Mexico Guanajuato Hand - Mexico

In the Panteón catacombs to the west of the city is a famous cemetery noted for the natural mummies produced by unknown means. About 1 in 100 bodies buried here experience natural mummification. In the late 1800s the town instituted a "burial tax" for the families of the deceased. When some of the poorest families were unable to pay the tax, their relatives were dug up and placed on public view in a purpose-built museum. The museum holds 111 corpses resting on velvet pillows and the proceeds from the museum help fund the city's coffers to a considerable degree.

 

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