Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Colors of Guanajuato

We went on a tour of the city of Guanajuato this week.  Silver was discovered in Guanajuato in 1552 and it was considered to be one of the top three historic silver mining districts in Mexico.  At it's peak in the 1700's, the silver mines of Guanajuato were considered to be the largest and richest silver mines in the world.  It is estimated as having produced 1.2 billion oz silver and 6 million oz of gold.  But silver isn't the attraction of the city nowadays.

The city is described as one of the most picturesque cities in Mexico and is now designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site.  It resembles many European Cities in that it seems to have grown up without a plan.

It's streets are a maze of pedestrian only walkways, that were never designed for cars.  The cars travel instead through underground tunnels, which were built to deal with flooding.  The narrow winding cobblestone streets lead to alleys, stairs, dead ends and hidden churches and plazas.

Wandering the streets practically guarantees that you will get lost and only then do you realize that being lost is a journey of discovery!


Since it has been designate a UNESCO site, property owners have been encouraged to paint their homes in bright colors (unlike in San Miguel where the color choice is controlled to include only earth-type colors).  The effect is gorgeous.

All these wonderful colors made me want to repaint our home when we get back....hmmm.. maybe lime green and turquoise!!  Shame we only just repainted it before we left!!


vilterietje said...

very colour-beautifull! great picture, no birds? love, riet:)

Lorena Angulo said...

I am deeply in LOVE with Guanajuato !
I lived in a city close by named, Irapuato and every weekend we travel to Guanajuato. Great memories over there !

Ruth said...

I bet you had a great time living near Guanajuato, Lorena! We loved it. I think it would be full of happy weekend memories.

We haven't seen that many varieties of birds in Mexico Riet. Lots of grackles and egrets and hummingbirds but that's about it. But as you can imagine - I keep looking!