Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A side trip to Guanajuato

My group and I left San Miguel de Allende around 9:00 in the morning to spend the day over in Guanajuato.  It was a glorious day, the weather was perfect.  Our first stop was the scenic overlook with a spectacular view of the whole city and the mountains where the Valenciana silver mine it located. This mine was at one time the richest silver mine in the world and at its peak, supplied one-fifth of the world's silver. 
The yellow church in the middle of the photo is the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  The large building behind it is the University of Guanajuato.
Pepe, one of my drivers, was showing the ladies what some of the buildings below are in the little book on Guanajuato.  Vendors sell these books for 60 some pesos which is a great purchase for is has an overall history of Guanajuato along with some good photography. 
Ricardo, my other driver, was telling us the history behind many of the buildings below.  
The Pipila Monument was erected in 1939 in honor of Juan Jose de los Reyes.  This miners knickname was El Pilpila.  Pipila is the Mexican word for a hen turkey;  he had some physical deformities and walked like a hen turkey.  Two hundred years ago, he was responsible for setting fire to the large doors of the Alhondga de Granaditas.  The Spaniards had barricaded themselves along with supplies and plenty of silver in this granary which was a stone fortress.   Pilpila tied a long flat stone on his back to protect him from the Spanish troops firing on him with their muskets.  He stormed towards the large granary and set the wooden doors on fire.
My group was busy checking out "El Pipila." 
 Guanajuato is famous for it brightly painted homes. 
What a colorful scene.

Once we had shot our share of photos, we headed down to Union Square, Jardin Union, that is shown above.   The triangular garden of Laurel trees is also know as the "piece of cheese."  Next stop, the Juarez Theater, on the right of the photo.
I was standing in the gazebo in the Jardin Union looking up at La Pipila. What a gorgeous view.  What a gorgeous day.

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