Guanajuato is one of Mexico's most beautifully preserved colonial cities. Steeped in history, rich with culture perched at the bottom of a canyon. Offering pleasures like enchanting plazas, ornante mansions, flowerpot adorned balconies in narrow alleyways adding to Guanajuato's charms. Capital of the state of the same name Guanajuato means place of the frogs Mineral wealth made Guanajauto the financial center of the Bajio. Founded in 1548 silver mines opened which you may visit today.
Silver was first discovered in this Bajio region near the hotels in Guanajuato in the 1600 hundreds. Little Pedro cried hey momma looka what I found. Mama then asked who gave you that shinny stone kid?. A century later, Guanajuato was the leading center of silver mining in the world and today, both the city of Guanajuato and its adjacent mines are designated UNESCO1 World Heritage Sites. 1 UNESCO means United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization which is part of the United Nations.
A good mine to vist not far from your Guanajuato lodgings is the Valenciana is located on the northern edge of Guanajuato and is home to the La Valenciana mine, once one of the richest and most productive silver mines in the world. Originally owned and operated by the Spanish, the La Valenciana mine was discovered by Antonio Obregon y Alcocer y who knows who else, who became the owner of the mine and Conde de Valenciana (Count of Valenciana).
Silver mining at La Valenciana brought great wealth to the region and magnificent churches and mansions were built with the riches which you can visit now not far from any of our Guanajuato hotels. Much of the region’s early wealth belonged to the Spanish mine owners, while the people of Guanajuato worked as exploited laborers. After the Mexican Revolution, operations at the La Valenciana mine were shut down.
Then management changed its' mind and lo and behold, the mine was reopened in 1968 as a cooperative yielding silver, gold, nickel, and whatever else could be dug up.
La Valencia came into being when silver was first discovered in Guanajuato back in the mid 1600s. A century later, this area of Mexico produced 70% of all the silver in the world. Today, though the mines are less productive, silver is still found, making Guanajuato a great place for those who want to buy items fashioned from this precious metal.
The tour of the Valencia Mine starts with a ramble through a series of rooms set in a long low building with cheap wood planked floors. Each of the rooms is dedicated to the history of this mine. Displays feature old black and white photos of the mine and its owners and workers through the years as well as other artifacts from centuries of mining. In the last room are cases filled with a stunning, display of gleaming silver jewelry, plates, table ware and other items crafted from the metal that sits below the earth of Guanjuato.