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There is not much to say about this place, it is the main square in the city, and probably the smallest main sqauer on a big mexican city, it has beautiful gardens and is a great place to walk around, enjoy it.
Updated Sep 8, 2010
"El Pípila", the guy that burned down the gates of the Alhondiga de Granaditas during the independence revolution, was honored with a statue on one of the hills surrounding the city, the statue is visible from many points around the city, but the best thing is to go up there and be near it. The hill is reached trough a cable car, and you once there you will not only see the statue, you'll also have a viewpoint from wich you'll have great views of all the downtown with all it's beautiful buildings.
The Pípila statue was built in 1939 and it was designed by Augusto Gutierrez, if you pay two extra pesos you'll be able to enter the statue and go all the way up to it's shoulders, it is a very small price to go up there so you may take it.
Written Sep 6, 2010
The other important building at Jardín Unión is Saint Diego's Temple wich used to be a franciscan convent built in the XVIII century; the temple is the only remaining part of the old convent, the other parts were demolished to build a hotel, and this one was in turn demolished and replaced for the Theater Juárez that stands today beside this church. It is not the best church in Guanajuato but still worth seeing it, for me the best part was not the interior of the church or it's facade, but the red domes of the building.
Below the temple there is a very small museum that shows a little bit of the pieces found in this place, the museum is located in what once was part of a building that now is below the temple.
Written Sep 4, 2010
This famous theatre is located on Jardín Unión, Guanjuato's main square. it was built to replace a hotel that was on that spot, and it's building started in 1872, it wasn't finished until 1903; the original project was made by the architect Antonio Noriega and was later modified by Antonio Rivas Mercado (the designer of the market) and Alberto Malo, up to this day it is still used for cultural activities, but it is also possible to visit it when it is not on use. The ticket is $20 and you can see not only the main stage, but also some rooms meant for touristic visitors and that show a little bit of the habits of the upper-class society that visited the theatre plays at the beginings of the XX Century.
On the outside the most noted feature are the statues of the muses located over the columns of the entrance
I recommend visiting it in the morning, since it is less probably to find a event that prevents your visit.
Updated Sep 2, 2010
Another church built in the XVIII Century, this one was built by the Company of Jesus and is another landmark of Guanajuato, it has in my opinion the most beauty facade of all the churches I saw even considering I could not fully appreciate it since part of it was in restoration, the churrigueresque style of the outside once existed too in the inside but they were later replaced by a more sober neoclasiscal style. Inside you may also see a exhibition of religious art that has paintings from the XVII to the XIX century.
One of the most noted aspects of the building is it dome, but as it happens with many buildings it is impossible to see it from the outside; the obvious chose to view this part of the temple is going all the way up to the viewpoint at the Pípila statue. you will see it from there, but here is a better choice that I discovered by accident: walk to the Plaza del Baratillo and check the streets that go out of that place, I don't remember the name of the street, but from one of them you'll have a enviable view of the dome.
Updated Sep 2, 2010
Address: Calle del Sol S/N
Another landmark of the city is the building of the University, altought all students have been moved to a modern campus outside the city, the building still belongs to the University and it is used for offices, it is a touristic attraction for it's architecture, it was first a jesuit college during the spanish domination, it passed to gubernamental watch in 1828 and finally became a university in 1945. Very nice building,
Written Aug 31, 2010
Another very famous place in Guanajuato is the "Callejón del Beso" (the kiss alley). The zone keeps the colonial touch of most of the downtown, and the alley in particular is a very narrow street in wich the balconies on each side are almost touching each other. The place is famous due to a legend that tells the history of Ana and Carlos, two young lovers; Ana's father disagreed with their relationship and decided to forbid his daugther to see Carlos and to send her to Sapin to marry an old and rich gentleman. Ana lived on one side of the alley, and Carlos managed to buy the house on the other side in order to reach his loved one on the balconie and from there discuss a plan to avoid Ana's fate. The father found the couple as they chated and full of anger he killed his own daugther by sticking a knife on her chest. Her lover could only kiss her for the last time as she died.
If you follow the legend then you must go to tj¿he alley with your couple and kiss her exactly in the third step in order to ensure an eternal love. They say that if you cross the alley without kissing anybody then you'll be unlucky at love, I hope it is not true, I didn't had nobody to kiss and I have not been very lucky since. Next time in city I'll have to have someone to kiss in order to change my luck.
Written Aug 30, 2010
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.
Updated Aug 30, 2010
Probably the most known touristic attraction in Guanajuto, at least in other places in Mexico is the mummies museum.
This mummies were found by accident in the old cementery of the city, after they were left without room to bury more people they started opening the old tombs (the first one in 1865) nobody visited anymore and it was discovered that the corpses had been mummified due to several factors like dryness and the minerals in the soil.
Don't ask me why but this enormous collection of mummies have become know countrywide and everybody wants to see them, they are so famous that they were even used as villians in the movies of another mexican pop culture icon, El Santo. This museum was opened to exhibit the enormous collection wich includes the smallest mummy in the world, the first exhumed mummy, and a sadly famous corpse that was found to have been buried alive by mistake as it position shows it died trying to escape.
Personally the museum was a dissapointment to me, and I think it is one of the few places in Guanajuato that could be much better than it is, the reason: once the morbid curiosity of watching the corpses is satisfied then the place has nothing else to offer, it is just a big collection of corpses, a museum should offer some kind of knowledge but it isn't the case of this place, if they did some kind of research and added plates explaining something like the process of mummification, the funerary practices during colonial times or anything else to accompany the mummies then the visit would be a lot more rewarding.
In my opinion you should visit it if you have time, but it should not be a priority if you are short on time
the ticket in is $20 pesos and when I was there the place was very crowded wich I think is something frequent, if you choose to walk back to downtown you may see you may see some streets, squares or neighborhoods that other people misses on the downhill trip.
Updated Aug 28, 2010
The market of the city is located inside a building that was planned for something completely different, it was supposed to be a train station, it was based on a desing by Antonio Rivas Mercado and Ernesto Burnel and it was inaugurated by the president Porfirio Diaz in 1910 during the celebrations of the 100 years of the begining of the mexican independence revolution. The most noted feature of the market is the old clock located in the roof.
Every time I give tours to family from other countries one of the most attractive atractions to them are markets, so a visit here is recommended to see all the different products you won't find on bigger shops and to buy something interesting if it attracts you.
Written Aug 28, 2010
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