About the City
Imagine that you are standing in the center of a small town. Below you are weathered cobblestones, their browns and grays deepened by age and use. You look up and realize you are surrounded by layers of vibrantly-colored sandstone houses. They extend up the mountainside in every size, shape, and color — a city reminiscent of children’s building blocks. Branching off the main street in all directions are narrow winding roads that follow the irregularities of the terrain; some of these small alleyways eventually turn into steep staircases that lead farther up the mountain. A cool breeze passes through the street from the Jardín de la Unión, carrying the sound of bustling people and lively mariachi music. The aroma of fresh breads, sweet and savory, emanate from the countless panaderias found throughout the city and the artisans lining the street cannot help but catch your eye…
It is rare to feel at home while traveling, to feel like a native when you have only just arrived. But the magic of Guanajuato evokes just that; this is a city where the joy of the people is not simply welcoming, but enchanting.
Guanajuato is a city and municipality in central Mexico and the capital of the state of the same name. The total population of the municipality is 153,364, with about half (70,798) living in the city proper. Guanajuato has an altitude of 6583 ft (2008 m). It is located in a very narrow valley, which makes the streets of the city very narrow and winding.
The historic center of the city is filled with colonial area mansions, churches and civil constructions built with pink or green sandstone and small plazas. The city was the result of the discovery of mines in the mountains that surround it. These mines were so rich that the city was one of the most influential during the colonial period. One of the mines, La Valenciana, accounted for two-thirds of the world’s silver production at its height. The city is home to the Mummy Museum which contains the naturally occurring mummies that were found in the municipal cemetery between the mid 19th and 20th centuries. It is also home to the Festival Internacional Cervantino, which invites artists and performers from all over the world as well as Mexico. The city was also the site of the first battle of the Mexican War of Independence between insurgent and royalist troops at the Alhóndiga de Granaditas. The city was named a World Heritage Site in 1988.