Guanajuato is a colonial city in the central highlands state of Mexico bearing the same name. The historic town and adjoining mines are a World Heritage Site. 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 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 were built as tribute to these events and serve as a reminder.
Guanajuato is also the home of the incredible Museo de las momias, or Mummy Museum. In the Panteón catacombs just west of the city is a famous cemetery especially known for the natural mummies resulting from unknown means. There are many other tourist attractions. For example, Cristo Rey del Cubilete (Christ the King Shrine) is one of Mexico’s most important religious monuments, and is said to mark the geographic center of Mexico. The 65-foot statue atop Cerro del Cubilete is the destination of an annual cabalgata (pilgrimage) every January to celebrate the Epiphany, in which thousands of mostly horse-ridding pilgrims ride to the shrine.
There are walks in the city at night through the callejones, small subterranean streets, where college students play medieval instruments. Twice a year the city has a medieval festival, one during Holy week in March, and the other in mid-December. A medieval fair is organized in the city centre with parades, and Spanish medieval food and music. People dress according to the fashion of that era, and the city is decorated as a village in medieval Spain. The colonial architecture of the city gives the festival a an authentic backdrop.