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bear495 Guanajuato - A travel report by Russ
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Guanajuato,  Mexico - flag Mexico -  Guanajuato
13538 readers

bear495's travel reports

City of Culture

  21 votes
Page: 1 2
Located in the center of Mexico is Guanajuato, Guanajuato. The name comes from the native Indian word for Place of Frogs. Now the city is a place of culture.

City on a Hillside
City on a Hillside
Originally inhabited by a succession of nomadic tribes, this valley received its name due to the abundance of frogs that could be seen. With the arrival of the Spanish in the 16th century, silver was found. The valley (and city founded there) became the largest producer of silver in the world, and held that distinction for more than 400 years. Now, Guanajuato has been named as Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 1988. 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. For six weeks, every year, this city of about 130,000 residents hosts the International Cervantino Festival, a tribute to Miguel Cervantes (who wrote Don Quixote). This is the most important artistic and cultural event in Mexico and in all Latin America. It has been held without interruption since 1972. During the festival, there are presentations of Cervantes' plays from groups around the city during the entire period. This city boasts one of the famous heroes of the Mexican Revolution. Pipila worked in one of the nearby mines. In the bloody, indescribable battle, this man of the people, put a flagstone on his back and carrying a torch, crawled to the door of the Corn Exchange, which he set on fire after having smeared it with pitch. A statue of the man is erected on top of one of the nearby mountains.

Favourite spots:
View from Pipila
View from Pipila
The city is reknowned for its museums, as well as the university and the mines. The first thing that I did was to take one of the four-hour tours that can be negotiated through one of themany travel agencies. Then, I was able to return to the areas that I wanted to see more. I enjoyed visiting the monument to Pipila, on top of the mountain. From there, you can see all of the city below you. This spot can be accessed by climbing up the mountain for almost 800 feet, or there is a cable car that will take you most of the way to the top. The museum of the mummies is a very interesting cultural stop. The people of the 18th and 19th centuries who could not pay a tax for burial were mummified by the city's officials. Tours can be taken into several of the city's mines, if you hire a travel guide and pay the entrance fees.

What's really great:
Guanajuato was one of the most beautiful colonial cities to which I have ever traveled. Thanks to the many policemen and tourist patrols that roam the streets, I felt completely safe during my entire stay in the city. The multitude of special tourist spots, the legends of the city, the beautiful achitecture, and the activities held on the street make Guanajuato one of my favorite places. One needs to read about the legend of El Callejón del Beso to learn of some of the rich heritage of the area. Tis is only one of the special legends that lends its name to the special places that the traveler can visit. If you really want to learn to speak Spanish, there are several schools that offer immersion courses in the language. These run from 7 days to 20 days.

View from Pipla 2
View from Pipla 2
For the romantic soul, I strongly recommend the alley of the kisses. Here is the story.

Doña Carmen was the only daughter of an obstinate and violent man. She was courted by her beau, Don Luis, in a church near the maiden's home. However, when the father found out about this, he locked her in her house.

A window in Doña Carmen's home gave onto an alley so narrow that it was possible, leaning out the window to touch the wall on the other side with a hand. By paying all of his fortune, Don Luis was able to buy the house across the alley.

When the maiden went out on her balcony that evening, she was able to see her lover. Seeing what happened, the father pushed into the girls' room, and with dagger in hand, and with a single blow, he plunged it into his daughter's breast. Don Luis was shocked into silence. Doña Carmen's hand, still in his, slowly went cold. Don Luis left a tender kiss on that smooth, pale hand, now lifeless.

This is the spot of that famous incident.

Nightlife in Guanajuato can be very entertaining. A group of minstrels travels through the streets and sings to the crowds every evening. Famous stars present concerts at the clubs. One can dance salsa, reggae, disco, or other club-type dances.

Ballet, theater, shows of traditional music and dance, opera and philharmonic orchestras are as common as night time discos and places to drink. Boxing and wrestling matches are generally held at night on most weekends. Also, every night, mariachis play until far into the morning of the following day. These clubs can be found on almost evry corner of the city.

Other recommendations:
Guanajuato travelogue picture
Guanajuato is famous for its silver. Walking the streets of the city, there are numerous shops that sell articles made of the silver, most at fantastic prices.

Other links to information on the city can be found at:

Published on Wednesday June 15th, 2005

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Wed, Jan 31 2007 - 11:42 AM rating by mrscanada

Russ my Mexican family lives here.

Sun, Dec 18 2005 - 04:44 PM rating by jorgesanchez

you deserve at least 5 points for este magnifico report. Enhorabuena!

Thu, Nov 24 2005 - 08:19 PM rating by alemala

It's a really good report. You know, I born only 35 milles away from there, so It is part of my very best memories.

Fri, Jul 29 2005 - 04:00 PM rating by whereisliz

Great report about an interesting place I hope to visit someday. A purely technical note, I really like the way you break up your text in short paragraphs -- much easier to read from the screen! Thanks!!

Thu, Jun 16 2005 - 05:26 AM rating by gloriajames

Hiya Russ!
Great Report and hope to visit there some day!
Btw... some of your pics though good appear to be overexposed...

Thu, Jun 16 2005 - 02:58 AM rating by christianj.

Hi Russ,

that's a great + informative report - I loved to read it.


Thu, Jun 16 2005 - 02:04 AM rating by davidx

Top quality.

Wed, Jun 15 2005 - 01:58 PM rating by rgrant9

Great job, Russ. Show us some more. Ronnie

Wed, Jun 15 2005 - 11:17 AM rating by jgrant8

Another great report.

Wed, Jun 15 2005 - 11:11 AM rating by rangutan

Wonderful report and pictures on a very romantic place.
("Pace of Frogs"?)

Wed, Jun 15 2005 - 10:22 AM rating by kandath

Superab report again, Russ. Well done.

Wed, Jun 15 2005 - 10:02 AM rating by deriek-2

This report is intersting and I like it.

Wed, Jun 15 2005 - 08:48 AM rating by djcummin

Your report makes me want to travel there. DJ

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