A Sunday Morning Walk in Guanajuato

Street Entertainer- Looks Like Bronze Statue - Does Not Move Unless Paid - then Pours Tea
Basilica of the Lady of Guanajuato
Plaza de la Paz
It's Sunday in Guanajuato Mexico (4/29/18), and I went for a morning walk, not planning to stop anywhere, but just making my rounds from walking down the steep narrow alleyways to the main streets in "Centro', or the center of town where the main attractions are.

The photo above is a street entertainer, painted like bronze and unmoving, except for his eyes that blink occasionally. When someone decides to pay him, he moves like a robot, serves tea, and becomes even more photogenic. He has a speaker that plays jazz and he does this for hours on weekend days.

Also to the left is the Basilica of the Lady of Guanajuato, and I stood in the shadows across the street to avoid being in direct sunlight to take this photo. This is the major landmark and shrine in Guanajuato. It was built between 1671 and 1696, and the sculpture of the virgin Mary with child at the front altar is the oldest one in Latin Amercia, made in Andalusia Spain by an anonymous artist and given to the Basilica by Phillip II in 1557, as a sign of gratitude for Guanajuato being one of the largest silver mining towns in New Spain at the time.

500 Year Old Church in Centro
Jardin - fountain and bandstand
 Then as I walk back I pass another historic church, about 500 years old and next to the Theatro Juarez and the Jardin or central plaza and heart of the town.

Artists have their works displayed on the street which is for walking only, and blocked off from cars. It is busy on weekends, and yet also has visitors on weekdays.

The Jardin has fountains and is surrounded by restaurants with outdoor seating and mariachis playing traditional music.



Teatro Juarez
The trees that cover the Jardin are groomed and look like large bonsai trees. They are sculpted with a square type of design, and add to the beauty of the plaza with its gardens and fountains.

This morning walk also included a view of the Teatro Juarez, across from the Jardin and next to the 500 year old church. It is a major venue for cultural events and was built between  1872 to 1903 .

Guanajuato is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and was once the most important silver extraction city in the world in the 18th century. It is also a university town and important cultural center in Mexico.

It was just a morning walk, yet one that was filled with visual beauty, appreciation, and the sense that being here in Mexico is an ongoing adventure of discovery, even when walking along streets more than once. Yet in addition to seeing the historic sites to me the most important experience is greeting and talking with the local Mexicans in Spanish.

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