The city was founded by the Spanish in the 1540's as a gold mining town. Guanajuato has enjoyed enormous success as a mining town, and even before Spanish colonization, was used for mining by Aztecs. It was such a rich source, the city rose to become one of the wealthiest of the colonial Mexican period, and for a time produced one third of all the silver in the world.
Today, Guanajuato is known as a pictaresque, individual city. Located in a narrow valley, many of its twisting streets are too narrow for vehicles. There are entire streets made of stairs cut into mountainsides, and the city is also famous for its abundence of tunnels. The city is also known for its colonial buildings constructed in colored sandstone, its display of naturally mummified bodies found in a local cemetary, and as a World Heritage site.
People Born in Guanajuato
Guanajuato in People's Lives
Ignacio Allende: During the Mexican War of Independece, in 1810, my forces and I captured a major grainery here, a major victory. However, after I was executed in 1811, I was decapitated, and my head was put on display at the same grainery as a warning.