M7W – Guanajuato

It’s number six of my 16 candidates for Mexico’s 7 Wonders, and it’s another place I visited in 2003 – this city is so fantastic though that I went back for a few days a couple of months ago. It’s famous for its tunnels and mummies (the dug up dead body kind) but really the attraction is in its unspoilt ‘colonialness’ and architecture. You can eat and drink well here too.

From Wiki: Guanajuato was founded as a town in 1554 and received the designation as a city in 1741. It is located in one of the richest silver mining areas of Mexico, and is well known for its wealth of fine colonial era Spanish architecture. The name “Guanajuato” comes from the Tarascan (P’urhépecha) word, “Quanax-juato”, which means “place of frogs”. The city was originally built over the Guanajuato River, which flowed through tunnels underneath the city. However, after years of raising buildings to accommodate repeated flooding, in the mid-twentieth century, engineers built a dam and redirected the river into underground caverns. The tunnels were lit and paved with cobblestones for automobile traffic, and this underground road network carries the majority of cars driving through the city today. It is one of the most noticeable features of the city. The city played a major role in the Mexican War of Independence since it is the capital of the State Guanajuato in which Miguel Hidalgo started the independence movement. The Statue of El Pípila and the Alhóndiga de Granaditas still remind of that time.

 

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