The Church of Our Lady of...
The Church of Our Lady of Guanajuato became the Basilica in 1957. Its façade is mannerist-baroque in style. Within the church, you can see a sculpture of the Virgin of Guanajuato, the city’s patron and a gift from King Carlos V of Spain and his son, Felipe II, in 1957. It was also the year of my birth ;-)
For more info and pictures, look in my Church of Our Lady travelogue please…
A few km out of the city...
A few km out of the city center, you find the Ex-Hacienda of San Gabriel de Barrera. It is a former place for refining silver ores. Now it is a museum with an outstanding XVII Century art and furniture collection. Although famous for the wonderful gardens, the museum's jewel is the gilded open chapel. More info comes later.
Visit for more info and pictures my Hacienda travelogue please…
Must-see: Jardín Unión and Teatro Juárez
Just like almost any other Spanish colonial town, Guanajuato's central square, Jardín Unión (Union Square), is the heart of the town, the place where people hangout and meet. There is no way you can miss Jardín Unión in visiting Guanajuato and someway, somehow at sometime you will end up here.
Jardín Unión is a triangular square shaded by laurel trees, limited on two sides by buildings with restaurants and coffee shops and facing on the third side the Templo de San Diego (San Diego Temple) and the Teatro Juárez (Juárez Theater). It is a nice place for some relax and a good spot for people-watching while resting on the park iron-benches. It is particularly lively in the late-afternoon early-evening hours, until dinner time.
On the open side of the square, the baroque, yellow-colored Templo de San Diego has nothing impressive though has some historical relevance being built in late XVIII century. At night, right in front of the church, you may happen seeing some young men and women dressed like minstrels playing traditional songs. They are the estudiantinas, a tourist attraction, students who run the Callonejadas tours, a night tour of the city center accompanying the stroll with their songs (see my Tip on Plazuelas y Callejónes).
Teatro Juárez, right next Templo de San Diego, is instead a beautiful theater, considered one of the most beautiful theaters in Mexico. It is an explosion of art with its Neoclassic exterior, French foyer, Moorish interior and a few touches of art nouveau. It is the only theater in Mexico that ha conserved its original furniture, dated back to its opening in 1903. The theater is opened to visitors. The stairway that from the street gets to the theater has gained a kind of social role in the city, being the place where people meet and sit watching the coming and going.
This is one of the ancients Theaters in Mexico.
Porfirio Diaz (Dictator 1910) traveled from Mexico city to Guanajuato city to present the main plays that were showed at this theater. Most of the the plays camed from Europe specially France.
If you enter at the theather you will find that is ancient and some interesting stories about the plays, public figures and the first time when a homosexual play was showed into the town during Diaz's dicator.
Also you will find at the second floor a dance floor, when ladies and gentlemans used to dance having an special flirting with tobbaco.
It's preatty intesteing and the architecture is definitly interesting.
Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Guanajuato
This church is probably the biggest in all Guanajuato, it was built between 1771 and 1796.
the church is located in a square called "plaza de la paz" wich is a beautiful place. There is a moment when you are traveling around the world when you suddenly fall in love with a place, for me walking into this plaza and seeing this church presiding it was the moment I fell in love with Guanajuto, it is a very worthy visit.