On a recent trip to Mexico my wife decided she wanted to take me somewhere special to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. She had been to this beautiful town when she was a girl and wanted to share this magical place with me. I can honestly say that I was mesmorized after entering the town and enjoyed every moment I was there.
Guanajuato was founded by the spaniards in the early 16th century and soon became one of the largest silver mining towns in the world. The very first thing I noticed was the architecture and environment. Although I have never been to Europe, the town had a very European feeling to it from an architectural standpoint. They have done a great job of preserving as much of the old world feeling the town has by limiting the changes allowed to the environment. This includes not adding streetlights and allowing traffic to portions of the downtown area as well as limiting fast food and other commercial chains to setup shop (although a Domino’s Pizza has snuck in somehow).
The town has become most famous for it’s mummies. Their initial discovery occurred in the late 1800’s when several bodies were exhumed due to non-payment of a so-called grave tax that was imposed. A museum was created to display mummies later in 1965. There seems to be several opinions regarding the cause of the natural mummification process rooted both in the soil as well as the quality of air and altitude.
My visit included the famous mummy museum, but for me that almost became an afterthought as we continued to visit so many intriguing parts of the town. There seemed to be a church on every corner. And the churches weren’t small cookie cutter churches. They were magnificent. I also visited the home that Diego Rivera lived in before he became famous and married Frida.
A final surprise hit me as our small tour van was climbing a hill to one of the old mines for a tour when I saw a state of the art soccer and baseball field perched atop the town. Words do not do this town justice so luckily I took many pictures.
You can view them all at the gallery I created specifically for this trip here