Archaeological zone that was potentially one of the most extensive and important in the country. Although little is known about this culture, it is considered one of the oldest cultures in America; its settlement dates back to 4 thousand years BC. The current archaeological remains correspond to a settlement that took place between 500 a. C. to 300 d. C. The first inhabitants of this area were hunters and gatherers who lived along the river and developed agricultural knowledge.
The territory of the State was a border area between Mesoamerica and Aridoamerica, inhabited at different times by pre-Hispanic societies, both sedentary and nomadic.
The Chupícuaro culture, an archaeological zone that was potentially one of the most extensive and important in the country, developed in the southeast of the state on the Riviera of the Lerma River, which today is the territory of the municipalities of Acámbaro, Tarimoro and Jerécuaro. Although little is known about this culture, it is considered one of the oldest cultures in America; its settlement dates back to 4 thousand years BC
The current archaeological remains correspond to a settlement that took place between 500 a. C. to 300 d. C. The first inhabitants of this area were hunters and gatherers who lived along the river and developed agricultural knowledge.
Its pottery is considered one of the best in Mesoamerica, especially the one that shows scenes from daily life and those oriented to the representation of fauna. The National Museum of Anthropology and History exhibits an important collection of the Chupícuaro culture.
The Chupícuaro archaeological site was covered by the Solís Dam, inaugurated in 1946. Thanks to the excavations for its construction, ceramic objects such as vessels and sculptures were discovered, in addition to 400 tombs.
After the Chupícuaro tradition, which took place in the pre-classical and until the post-classical period, the state territory witnessed pre-Hispanic settlements that developed very particular local styles, in fields such as architecture and pottery. These civilizations participated in commercial networks and established communication and political relations with the societies of the neighboring Mesoamerican regions, the cultures that inhabited the state were made up of Chichimecas, Otomíes and Purépechas that settled on the lands until the year 1522. Precisely of the latter The name Quanaxhuato comes from the Purépecha, which means "a mountainous place for frogs".
Today, thanks to these settlements dating from between 300 and 900 AD, we can count on impressive archaeological remains in different parts of the state that show the diverse cultural wealth that our ancestors developed, of which five remain open to the public. they bear witness to the regional vitality in pre-Hispanic times, Plazuelas in Pénjamo, Peralta in Abasolo, Cóporo in Ocampo, Cañada de la virgen in San Miguel de Allende and, Arroyo Seco in Victoria.
In 1522 the first Spaniards arrived in the Guanajuato territory as part of the Cristal de Olid expedition, traveling through Yuririhapúndaro and Pénjamo in the south of the state. Acámbaro was founded in 1526, making it the first Spanish town in Guanajuato.
For the year 1542 with the colonization by the Spanish crown, several settlements were given in the territory, the grant was granted for cattle ranches in Apaseo and Chamácuaro (in the municipality of Acámbaro). The towns of Tarimoro and Chamacuero are founded, today the Magical Town of Comonfort.
Some of the factors that attracted the Spanish conquerors were their fertile lands, which caused that towns like Puruándiro, Pénjamo and Apaseo were inhabited by numerous groups of cattle from the peninsula.
Places such as Guanajuato, San Miguel el Grande, San Luis de la Paz, Celaya and León were founded to develop livestock, agricultural and supply activities for explorers.
Religious missionaries who settled in the state arrived in the region and with this they introduced the evangelization of the people, which meant a relevant aspect for the shaping of colonial society. These orders were even the first to build schools and hospitals, exercising roles of social organization and political authority.
Thanks to the mining boom of 1548, it turned what is today the state capital into one of the most important cities for New Spain, since it endowed the viceroyalty with gold and silver.
The first political and administrative division that existed for the current territory of Guanajuato was put into operation in the colonial era and was defined from the creation of five Mayor's Offices. Each one of those mayorships included a population of important rank, be it city or Villa and its respective district or territory where it exercised its jurisdiction.
By 1570 the town of Santa Fe de Guanajuato was legally founded thanks to its great mining activity, being the most important granary and a recognized industrial emporium.
Due to mining production, important civil and religious constructions were made, such as the Alhóndiga de Granaditas, a gigantic grain warehouse or the Presa de la Olla, an important hydraulic work to supply the town with water, but not only in the capital were these constructions carried out , if not in other state entities, which allowed the creation of transit centers for the entire mining industry.
This resulted in the creation of access roads and agricultural, textile, livestock, and artisanal activities flourished throughout the entire territory. It was evident the development of a textile industry in the Celaya area and the one related to leather and footwear in the León area, as well as blacksmithing, leather and grease in San Miguel, artisan work was everywhere.
Trade was strengthened throughout the region and the fairs in León and Celaya were well recognized. The population was concentrated around the mines, the haciendas and the ranches causing a miscegenation of customs that made the region a very different place from the rest of New Spain due to its high economic development. This caused the region to be known for its high productivity and economic prosperity and was known as El Bajío.
The Villa of San Luis de la Paz was founded in 1590 to celebrate the peace pact between Spaniards and Chichimecas.
By the XNUMXth century, Guanajuato had become the most important silver mining center in the world.
In 1741, King Felipe V granted the title of very noble and loyal city of Santa Fe and Real de Minas de Guanajuato, becoming the capital of the intendency of the same name in 1786, at the head of the mayor's offices of León, Celaya, San Miguel, San Luis de la Paz and Guanajuato itself.
In the year of 1786 by orders of the King of Spain Carlos III, the territory of New Spain was divided for better administration in municipalities. Thus the territory went from having 150 Mayors to twelve municipalities and the Guanajuato territory from then on ceased to depend administratively on Michoacán and became the Intendance of Guanajuato having as capital the Very Noble and Loyal City of Santa Fe and Real de minas From guanajuato.
Guanajuato is an important pillar in the history of Mexico, since it is the cradle of National Independence, since it saw this movement born in its lands and witnessed important historical events.
The intendancy of Guanajuato was the determining stage for the outbreak of the fight for independence that was brewing, from the underground, in various cities of New Spain such as Querétaro, Valladolid (today Morelia) and San Miguel el Grande (Today de Allende) . The region experienced firsthand the contradictions of development and the crisis of the colony in the early nineteenth century.
At dawn on September 16, 1810 in Dolores Hidalgo, the priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, proclaimed the Independence of Mexico against the Spanish crown that had dominated the country for almost 300 years. Forming an independence army made up of a small group of Indians, mestizos and creoles, without military training and armed with farming instruments.
On the initial route, the insurgents left Dolores, went through the Atotonilco sanctuary where they took the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe that would serve as a banner for the movement, then continued to San Miguel el Grande where the soldiers of the Dragones de la regiment joined the Reina, they continued towards Chamácuaro (today Comonfort), then Celaya followed where the grown contingent was organized.
On September 22 in Celaya, with the help of the city council, Miguel Hidalgo was named Captain General, being invested with the supreme command and, at the same time, Ignacio Allende as Lieutenant General.
The march headed for Salamanca from where multiple guerrillas that revolutionized the Bajío were activated, from there they marched towards Irapuato from where a detachment was sent to Silao and the bulk of the insurgent army headed towards the city of Guanajuato.
Made up of 50,000 men at that time, the insurgent army advanced on the city of Guanajuato, which fell into their hands on September 28 after an intense combat that culminated in the capture of the Alhóndiga de Granaditas.
After the army's victory, Miguel Hidalgo left Guanajuato on October 10 for Valladolid, adding people to the cause and joining an army of 70.000 people, passing through Valle de Santiago and Acámbaro.
Despite the increase in the number of insurgent troops, Hidalgo was taken prisoner in March 1811 and shot. On October 14, the heads of the four insurgent leaders arrived in Guanajuato: Hidalgo, Allende, Aldama and Mariano Jiménez, who were placed in cages in the four corners of the Alhóndiga for ten years as a warning to the inhabitants.
The fight for the independence of Mexico continued with various leaders until its conclusion 11 years later. The military chiefs Luis de Cortázar and Anastasio Bustamante adhere to the Plan of Iguala; on March 24 they occupy the city of Guanajuato. On July 8, 1821, the independence of Mexico was sworn in the entire province of Guanajuato.
Constitution and Reform
For 1824, the Constituent Congress of Mexico, in which the constitutive act of the federation is sworn, gives the entity the name of Free and Sovereign State of Guanajuato. On March 25, 1825 the first Constituent Congress of the State was installed and on April 14, 1826 the first Local Constitution was issued.
For the Mexico - United States war that begins in 1846, due to the expansionist intentions of the United States, the entity helps with 6,000 men, under the command of General Gabriel Valencia, to defend the Nation.
By 1848, dissatisfied with the Treaty of Guadalupe that ended the war with the United States of America, Generals Mariano Paredes and Manuel Dogido rose up in arms, who along with the priest Celedonio Doménico Jarauta, occupy the state capital. They are defeated and Jarauta is shot in Valenciana; his remains rest in the Basilica of Guanajuato.
Attorney Benito Juárez García was proclaimed President of the Republic in 1858, on his long pilgrimage throughout the country, provisionally declared capital of the Republic and headquarters of the powers to the city of Guanajuato on January 19.
Between 1858 and 1860, during the War of Reform (three years), the city of Guanajuato was in the hands of the conservatives nine times, and many others in the hands of the liberals.
In December 1863 Guanajuato falls into the hands of the Imperialists, and in March 1864 it is transformed from State to Department. The city was recovered by the forces of General Florencio Antillón on January 26, 1867, and assumed the position of Governor until the year of 1877.
The State in Guanajuato assumed the liberal flag and supported the application of the Reform Laws, however, towards 1873 a strong opposition was awakened by sympathizers of the Catholic Church and riots were experienced in 1875 in Dolores, San Miguel and San Luis de la Paz. Porfirio Díaz's triumph came to calm the uprisings and guarantee a relaxation in religious persecution.
The triumph of the Tuxtepec revolution, led by Porfirio Díaz, at the end of 1876 represented the beginning of the porfiriato, a stage of many contrasts in which public works made notable progress, although freedom of expression was severely affected.
During the porfiriato the entity underwent a new stage of revival of mining and remarkable economic development derived, in part, from the presence of foreign companies that reactivated the exploitation of deposits of silver and other metals, the arrival also had a notable influence of the railroad, electricity and telephone that energized industry and agriculture in Guanajuato cities with the help of modern machinery.
In line with this economic progress, the main cities of the entity were embellished with the construction of beautiful public buildings, parks and the placement of beautiful monuments, for example: In the city of Guanajuato, the magnificent Juárez Theater, the Legislative Palace, the Mercado Hidalgo, the Dam of Hope, the Monument to La Paz, the monument to Hidalgo. In the city of León the old municipal prison building, the Manuel Dogido theater, the Arco de la Calzada was inaugurated, which was originally made of wood covered with plaster, and in 1886 it was made of quarrying.
The presence of foreign technicians in mining, industry and agricultural activities in the entity were decisive in terms of generating an international tourist flow to Guanajuato cities.
The economic prosperity of the porfiriato that lasted 35 years, had only benefited a very small sector of the country's society and of course in Guanajuato (mine owners, landowners, bankers and industrialists) the majority of the population lived in poverty and the peasants lived as hired pawns while the miners were subject to the ray shops, the shoe industry in Leon on which thousands of families depended was trapped in misery and full of unpayable debts, the attempts to strike or any demonstration to The defense of workers' rights was considered a crime and was severely punished. Thanks to this and a series of crises in various spheres of national life, the Mexican Revolution broke out on November 20, 1910.
Despite this, the footprint of the revolution in Guanajuato was not as deep as in other regions of the country. However, when the revolution broke out, the large foreign capitals left, leaving the workers unemployed and the miners ill. The liberal heritage of José María Luis Mora, Ignacio Ramírez and Manuel Dogido made itself felt in the general discontent of urban and rural workers who would soon join the revolt.
From April 6 to 15, 1915, the famous battle of Celaya was fought, a series of decisive military encounters for the Mexican RevolutionBetween the Northern Division, headed by Francisco Villa, against the troops constitutionalistsunder the command of the general . For April 15 Obregón they leave triumphant, causing Villa to withdraw to León where another battle is unleashed, also known as the battle of Santa Ana del Conde with the same opponents, where Obregón's troops imposed themselves once again, forcing the withdrawal of the group from Villa to Aguascalientes.
During the revolutionary period (1910-1917) the entity had 12 governors, and in the territory there was a strong insurgency led by gavilleros and bandits who equally stole money than cattle and grains, gangs after their ephemeral appearances disintegrated. Catholicism gained a significant presence as an effect of the revolution, either by organizing political parties, editing newspapers and magazines, or by regularly holding liturgical ceremonies. The popular expression was also felt with the composition of corridos that narrated in a very particular way the exploits of local characters and the main battles.
In 1926 it boomed in various towns such as Pénjamo, León and others, the Cristero rebel movement. The conflict spread rapidly between 1926 and 1929 with much violence, it was primarily a peasant movement. The votive monument to Christ the King became the symbolic element of the movement.
The Cristero war kept the entity in a critical economic situation and starvation. Even though the peace accords were signed in 1929, some cristeros continued in the fight that lasted for a few more years.
The journey from 1917 to 1945 was complex for the entire entity, especially due to the confrontations between the different political groups that emerged from the revolution and the complex task of establishing agreements that allowed the consolidation of institutions.
The modern structure of the economy of the state of Guanajuato begins to develop from two public works of great importance, the first of which was the establishment of the Alto Lerma irrigation district in 1933, and the second was the inauguration of the Pemex refinery in Salamanca in 1950. It was also consolidated with the establishment of a thermoelectric plant between 1968-1969 with a capacity of 918,000 Kv.
The so-called Bajío industrial corridor has been consolidated with the integration of the municipalities of Celaya, Salamanca, Irapuato, Silao and León. Villagrán and Apaseo el Grande also join this corridor with an outstanding agricultural and industrial activity.
The industrialization process was developed from the consolidation of family businesses such as those in the textile, footwear and tannery industries and the installation of modern industries such as chemistry, petrochemicals, metalworking, construction and agro-industry.
It is also from the fifties of the twentieth century that the consolidation of tourist activity begins from the cultural offer offered by the symphony orchestra of the University of Guanajuato and the University Theater Company of the same institution. The cultural project has been largely the platform for positioning Guanajuato as a tourist destination, the Cervantino International Festival, the Guanajuato GIFF Film Festival, the International Balloon Flight Festival to name a few.
The state of Guanajuato has been called the Cultural Destination of Mexico, thanks to a great tangible and intangible cultural heritage, which manifests itself in aspects such as art, literature, architecture, music, and dance, among many others.
Some of the dance manifestations that have transcended until our time are proof of this cultural richness.
The Dance of Paloteros
It has its origin in Piñícuaro, an old settlement in the municipality of Moroleón. This indigenous dance is full of folklore and rhythm, in addition to containing a very deep meaning, since it represents the preparation of the Purépechas before entering combat against the Chichimecas on the border of the Lerma River. The choreography shows a martiality characterized by Paloteo, which are movements in which the dancers beat each other with their instruments to the rhythm of the music.
This dance receives that name (Paloteros) because the main instrument of the representation is a short stick that each member of the group carries in their hands and that generates very characteristic rhythms when colliding them. This main element has a very particular origin, since it is obtained from the tree known as Cat's Claw that can measure up to 45 cm., The instrument is cured for several days to obtain the specific consistency that is required for Dance.
The clothing varies depending on the region, but is characterized by colorful clothing and an essential element, which is a Crown lined with frost and adorned with an image of the Patron Saint of the place where the representation is performed.
The Chichimecas dance
It is part of what is called dances of the Conquest, and this is because it is a dance that represents the battles that the pre-Hispanic cultures that inhabited the lands had against the conquerors.
The clothing is made up for the natives by hats adorned with feathers and mirrors, nagüillas which is a kind of skirt and vests, adorned with metal lamellae that produce sounds to the rhythm of the dance, as well as machetes and shields. For the conquerors, blue pants and white shirts, hats adorned with fabrics and swords.
The Dance of the Torito
It is a traditional dance from the colonial era, which is believed to have originated in the community of Chichimequillas and is over 400 years old.
This is a representation in which a bull escapes and the characters that make up the dance begin to escape from the animal in an allegorical choreography of society, to the rhythm of music and a raucous whip that draws attention.
The characters involved in the dance are very characteristic since they use very colorful and extravagant costumes, some of the characters that are represented are a bull, a horse, a drunk, an old man, the devil and death.
As for music, in the state we find Huapango arribeño, a musical genre made up of a wide series of sounds, such as El Mosco and El Barretero, which are closely linked to son Huasteco. Although they have differences since this has an alignment of four to five musicians, made up of two violins, a huapanguera guitar and a jarana; The violin is the one who carries the main voice and the guitar and the jarana alternate.
Within this Huapango Arribeño there are two types of sones, the Divine Son, which is dedicated to God, having a solemn tone and the Profane son that has a more joyous rhythm that invites celebration and dancing.
This music is characteristic of the municipality of Xichú and has its maximum exposure in topadas, which are duels between Huapangueros, these can last more than twelve continuous hours.
Art, Literature and Composition
Guanajuato is the cradle of countless artists of national and international recognition, their work has permeated the local culture. This has enriched the cultural identity of Guanajuato, in such a way that it is part of the cultural and historical legacy of Mexico.
Diego Rivera is a prominent Guanajuato and one of the most important Mexican painters in history, his important pictorial work is an international benchmark, which is exhibited in museums in Paris, New York, Madrid, etc.
Jorge Ibargüengoitia is another native of the state, considered one of the sharpest and most ironic in Latin American literature and a scathing critic of the social and political reality of his country.
Juventino Rosas, a renowned Guanajuato composer, famous for his incredible work, Vals Sobre las Olas, are many of the works he left behind as a legacy.
The state has an important architectural legacy that goes from pre-Hispanic culture, through the colony, the Porfiriato, to the present day.
The archaeological remains found in the state are a historical architectural manifesto of the cultures that inhabited the lands, which date from between 300 and 900 AD.
Colonial architecture brought with it important buildings of a religious, military, and industrial nature that reveal the European heritage that remained the urban stain of each city in the state. Guanajuato and Sam Miguel de Allende are two cities that incredibly expose this architectural style.
Guanajuato was one of the favorite places of President Porfirio Díaz, with it he brought progress and modernity to the state, which meant a great development of works with European airs that today are important icons of cities.
To this day contemporary architecture has had to live with this legacy, however, it has not been an impediment to the development of first-world works, we can see cities such as León that stand out for their modernity.
Since pre-Columbian times, the State of Guanajuato has been the cradle and witness of popular, civil and religious manifestations and traditions.
In each of these rituals, food has played an essential role, in which Guanajuato has distinguished itself for its diversity in culinary art. The aromas, textures, colors and flavors of Guanajuato dishes are full of history, symbols and mysticism.
The gastronomic history of Guanajuato dates back to the ancient Chichimeca civilization, passing through the conquest of the Spanish, having as a determining date the French invasion and finding a restoration at the end of the Revolution.
However, today, Guanajuato cuisine by the main chefs has had an important development, finding a fusion of traditional food with the adaptations of world haute cuisine, resulting in the most authentic and attractive dishes of the region.
In 2010, traditional Mexican cuisine was declared Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO, being the first cuisine in the world to receive such an honorable distinction.
Garambullo, strawberry, xoconostle and a great variety of cacti, are the ingredients that over the years have given unmatched aroma, texture, color and flavors to delicious recipes that transcend over the years while preserving the flavor of generations of Guanajuato. that today they put on high the gastronomic identity of the State.
Currently there is a record of approximately 240 traditional cooks benefited, who have more than 400 recipes including savory dishes, sweets and traditional drinks.
In an effort to rescue the use of pre-Hispanic ingredients and promote national and international products and dishes that are made in the state; The gastronomic program Guanajuato ¡Sí Sabe! With events scheduled throughout the year, to be on the lips of everyone and leave the best taste of our exquisite cuisine.
One way to rescue and spread the culinary wealth of the State of Guanajuato is by taking it to the archaeological areas that it has, that is how a gastronomic event was born that has brought great results and a lot of affluence, "Traditional Cuisine Fair", since 2012 that the Traditional Cooks program was created, 18 fairs have been held with great success, in 5 destinations such as Plazuelas, Pénjamo; El Cóporo, Ocampo; Peralta, Abasolo; El Llanito, Dolores Hidalgo and Sangre de Cristo, Guanajuato.
Food has played an essential role, in which Guanajuato has been distinguished for its diversity in culinary art.
In the state you can find a large amount of gastronomic offer that goes from the local markets where you can taste typical food of the region, to the street stalls or inns.
Some of the typical dishes of the region that you must try are the mining enchiladas, the bear broth, the macaws, pico de gallo with xoconostle, the tacos de aire or a rich cebadina to refresh yourself.
Guanajuato also has top quality restaurants, with innovative proposals and haute cuisine, that delight locals and visitors.
The Mexico Gastronomic guide places five Guanajuato restaurants among the 120 best in the country.
1. Áperi Restaurant (San Miguel de Allende) 2. Marsala (San Miguel de Allende) 3. Bovine (San Miguel de Allende) 4. Trazo 1810 (San Miguel de Allende) 5. La Cocinoteca Restaurant (León)
Thanks to this wealth of proposals, the state is a gastronomic benchmark that ranges from traditional to avant-garde.
Visiting the wine routes is a great option for those who delve into the wine culture of Guanajuato: walk through a vineyard, taste a good wine, learn about the production process, enjoy a picnic, just some of the various experiences that can be enjoyed.
These routes are distributed in different municipalities as follows:
Route 1: León Route 2: Guanajuato capital Route 3: Salvatierra Routes 4 and 5: San Miguel de Allende and Dolores Hidalgo
Comprised of sixteen vineyards, open to the public that offer wine that has received international awards and recognition and that year after year host the only wine tourism event in the country: Vinum Guanajuato.
Guanajuato is part of the designation of origin of the national flagship drink, in different factories you can enjoy the agave landscape, delve into the culture around the production of this distillate, learn about the distillation process and taste the different types of tequila. The most important and characteristic producers are Hacienda Corralejo, Real de Pénjamo, Rancho el Coyote and Hacienda San Gregorio.
Mezcal is undoubtedly another flagship drink of our country, it was the Hacienda de Jaral de Berrios, in San Felipe, Guanajuato the first to receive the permission of the Spanish crown for its manufacture and currently its traditional manufacture in the municipalities is honored from San Felipe and San Luis de la Paz, in which there are 5 mezcal estates.
The most important and characteristic producers are Penca and Piedra, Cuanax, Zemcal, Jaral de Berrio, Pozo Hondo, Santa Rosa de Ochoa, Villa Suso and Zauco.
Beer without a doubt is part of our culture, in the state there are more than 30 producers in 11 municipalities, which craft more than 40 types of beers such as Pale Ale, IPA, Stout and Porter. 428,400 liters of this drink are produced per year.
A tour of the fields of Irapuato strawberries, recognized for their quality worldwide, this tour is complemented by a visit to some producers where you can taste delicious strawberry-based products.
Cajeta and typical sweets
A regional and traditional sweet from the municipality of Celaya that dates back to the viceregal period, also in the municipality different typical sweets are manufactured that are exported throughout the country.
Some of our places that you can visit