No, this is not the mountain...
No, this is not the mountain of Corcovado in Rio de Janeiro were you can see the statue of Christ. In fact, it is the monument of Cristo Rey (Christ the King) on the top of Cubilete Hill in Guanajuato. The construction of the monument started at 1923. The complex itself is the work of the Mexican architect Nicolás Mariscal Pina, whilst the statue is the work of the Mexican sculptor Fidias Elizondo and shows Christ the King with his arms extended, flanked by two angels who hold a crown of thorns in one hand and a royal crown in the other. The sculpture measures 20 meters (66 feet) high and weights 250 metric tons. From its circular plaza, one can enjoy a splendid view of the entire Bajio valley.
JR's mini mart!!!!
IF you do check out the Institute Falcon, don't forget to go next door to JR's mini-mart! The guy who owns it is seen in this pic, and is name is JR (say it in Spanish, though)...he's always cheerful, remembers your face (or at least pretends he does!!!), and will teach you spanish whenever you want!!! Now thats a deal!!
kissing alley - callejon de besos
One of the most surprising legends, given its tragic and romantic flavour, is this one.
The story is told that Doña Carmen was the only daughter of an obstinate and violent man, but as tends to happen, love wins out, unlucky as it might be. Doña Carmen was courted by her beau, Don Luis, in a church near the maiden's home, where first he offered her holy water with his hand. On being discovered, she was subsequently locked up, threatened with being sent to a convent, and, worst of all, with being married in Spain to a rich, old noble, a marriage which would help to restore her father's dwindling fortune.
The lovely, obedient creature and her companion, Doña Brígida, wept and prayed together. Then, before the young girl submitted to her sacrifice, they decided that Doña Brígida should take a message to Don Luis with the unfortunate news. A thousand plans occurred to the young lover, but of all of them, there was one that seemed the best. 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. If he could get into the house on the other side of the alley, he would be able to talk with his beloved and, between the two of them, find a solution to their problem.
He asked who the owner of the house was and bought it for a fortune. One can only imagine Doña Carmen's surprise when stepping out onto her balcony, she found the man of her dreams so close.
When a few moments had passed since that indescribable lovers' conversation began, and the lovers were deep in thought, violent words were heard from the back of the room. It was Doña Carmen's father shouting at Brígida, who risked her life trying to prevent her master from entering her lady's chambers. The father pushed Doña Carmen's protector aside with ease, and with dagger in hand, 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. Resigned to the inevitable, Don Luis left a tender kiss on that smooth, pale hand, now lifeless. This is why this spot, undoubtedly one of the most typical of our city, is called the Callejón del Beso (the Alley of the Kiss).
Boca Mina de San Cayetano
The Boca Mina de San Cayetano is one of 23 interconnecting mines in Guanajuato and is named after the patron saint of miners. It is still operational, but it's also open for tours in which miners lead tourists 60 metres down inside the mine.
The mine was opened in 1550, just 31 years after Cortes first landed in what is now Mexico. In colonial times it was worked by Indians who received no pay other than food and lodging. They descended 750 metres, then climed back up with 75 kgs of minerals on their backs, then back down and up again twelve times a day, retreiving 900 kgs each per day. Most of the miners died from being overworked within ten years, and many of them went blind due to working by candlelight in pitch black darkness.
The miners who work there today have better conditions - they use elevators rather than steps - but the wages are still incredibly low. Our guide Ramiro told us he is paid 37 pesos (US$ 3.33) for eight hours of work.
Nice-to-see: Mexican Baroque Architecture
I have read there are some 60 churches in Guanajuato over a population of 130,000 and I don't have hard time to believe it since I came across a dozens of churches just wandering the city center.
Guanajuato has significant examples of Mexican Baroque churches, recognizable by their extravagant façades and altarpieces, adorned with statues, floral motifs, and otherwise extravagant adornment. In the city center two of the best examples of Mexican Baroque architecture are the Iglesia Compañia de Jesùs, the one with the pinkstone façade and the big dome right next to the University, and the Templo de San Diego, in the Main Square (Jardin Union), while just a couple of Kms out of town, the Templo de Valenciana, is another remarkable example of Mexican baroque with its adorned façade and the wooden ornate altarpieces. There are few other example of historical Baroque churches in town that you will easily recognize from their extravagant ornaments on the façades.