About Alhondiga de Granaditas
Alhondiga de Granaditas in Guanajuato City in Mexico was originally built as a granary warehouse and marketplace between 1798 and 1809. However, at the start of the Mexican War of Independence this beautiful building became the site of a major clash between Spanish colonialists and Mexican rebels.
History of Alhondiga de Granaditas
In 1810 the priest and leader of the revolution, Miguel Hidalgo, led a campaign to capture Guanajuato City. At that time, the Spanish began using Alhondiga de Granaditas as a fortress in which to shelter, an action which initially proved quite effective. However, Hidalgo then ordered a miner called Juan José de los Reyes Martínez, known as ‘El Pípila’ to set Alhondiga de Granaditas on fire. After strapping a slab to his back for protection from enemy fire, El Pípila did just that. The result was the massacre of those inside Alhondiga de Granaditas and doubt by some as to whether to continue with the fight for independence.
The Mexicans managed to take Guanajuato City, but by the following year the Spanish had recaptured it and exacted revenge on the rebels. Four of the movement’s main leaders, namely Hidalgo, Juan Aldama, Mariano Jimenez and Ignacio Allende were beheaded and their heads displayed on the walls of Alhondiga de Granaditas. The message was clear –rebellion would not be tolerated.
In the nineteenth century, Alhondiga de Granaditas became a prison and today houses a museum, Museo Regional La Alhóndiga de Granaditas.
Alhondiga de Granaditas today
The museum contains colonial exhibits and those about the Mexican struggle for independence as well as some about the pre-Colombian era. It also houses numerous pieces of art, including murals by José Chávez Morado on the staircase. The museum is also a regional museum for Guanajuato, so expect to find an eclectic mix of objects inside.
Getting to Alhondiga de Granaditas
Alhondiga de Granaditas is located just outside the centre of Guanajuato, a short walk from the historic centre. Walking is by far the most convenient method of transport as the historic centre is a winding maze of roads! Guanajuato is about an hour from the city of León, or a 5 hour journey from Mexico City, traffic dependent.
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