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Nestled in the mountains of the Sierra de Guanajuato is the picturesque city of Guanajuato. Its name originates from the word Quanax-juato which, in the indigenous dialect of the region, meant "Place of Frogs" - because the indigenous tribes thought the place was fit only for frogs!
The Spanish later found rich veins of silver and extracted from them vast fortunes to build a magnificent city and churches such as Iglesia de San Cayetano, built between 1765 and 1786 on the outskirts of the city.
The Valenciana mine located there was one of the richest silver finds in history. In the 18th century this one mine alone accounted for 2/3 of the world's silver production.
Guanajuato is an arts center and a city of incredible charm which amazes visitors upon entering the city by way of its subterranean main street. The street follows the original course of the Guanajuato River, running beneath the city for almost 3 kilometers. The river used to flood the downtown area with alarming frequency until a dam was built in the 1960's to contain it. This is one of only two major streets in downtown Guanajuato - this one coming into town, the other going back out.
Walking around the city on it's criss-crossed hundreds of callejones (alleyways), the most famous of which is, undoubtedly, Callejón del Beso (Alley of the Kiss). The local romantic legend has it that this callejón is so narrow that lovers, each standing on a balcony of either side of the alley, can reach across the alley and exchange a kiss! The alleyway also is part of the route of the popular traditional callejoneadas of Guanajuato when student choral groups stroll the alleyways of Guanajuato at night, strumming their guitars and serenading the local populace.
Why not treat yourself?