About Guanajuato


  • Universidad de Guanajuato (University of Guanajuato)
  • Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Guanajuato (Basilica of Our Lady of Guanajuato)
  • Plaza de la Paz (Plaza of Peace)
  • Templo de la Compañía de Jesús (Church of the Society of Jesus)

Start out on the northern edge of Guanajuato with a stop at the University of Guanajuato, whose ramparts you can see towering above much of the city. In one of the best examples of integrating modern architecture into a historic cityscape, the majority of the university complex was built in the 1950's. However, the building still boasts the original entrance, dating back to the 18th century when it was founded by the Jesuits. If you're feeling athletic, hike it up the several sets of steps to the entrance and turn around for one of the best views down over Guanajuato!

Guanajuato university

Just one block downhill as you work your way towards the city center is the Basilica de Nuestra Señora de Guanajuato. The Baroque church composes one side of the Plaza de Paz, a small triangular plaza otherwise surrounded by what were once the homes of wealthy silver barons.

Built between 1671 and 1696, the Basilica is widely considered one of the best examples of 18th century Baroque architecture. Its exterior is painted in pastel shades of yellow and red with a decorative Baroque entrance. From the street you can also admire its large dome and two completely distinct towers, one with a clock and the other with tiers of bells. Venture inside for a sumptuously decorated interior that seems like it was plucked right out of Europe.

It is also here that you will find one of the city's most valuable assets: a jewel-encrusted wooden image of the Virgin supposedly hidden from the Moors for 800 years that was given to Guanajuato by Spanish royals Carlos I and Felipe II. The gift was a token of gratitude for the wealth that the Spanish monarchy was enjoying thanks to the lucrative silver mining.

A second church in the area is the lavish Templo de la Compañía de Jesús, a jaw-dropping church founded by the Jesuits and meant to accompany the Jesuit seminary. Unfortunately, the Jesuits were kicked out of "New Spain" and the seminary was quite short-lived. The churrigueresque - an extremely decorative branch of Baroque - church was built between 1747 and 1765 and is one of Guanajuato's best examples of golden age architecture.