Guanajuato, Guanajuato

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Guanajuato is the name of both a state in Mexico and that state's capital city. This article is about the city. For the state of the same name, see state of Guanajuato.
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Plaza de la Paz and the Basílica Colegiata de Nuestra Señora de Guanajuato (2004)

The city of Guanajuato is the capital of the state of the same name. It is located at Template:Coor dm, 370 km (230 miles) northwest of Mexico City, at an elevation of 1,996 m (6,550 ft) above sea level. The estimated population in 2003 was about 78,000 people.

Guanajuato was founded as a town in 1554 and received the designation as a city in 1741. It is located in one of the richest silver mining areas of Mexico, and is well known for its wealth of fine colonial era Spanish architecture.

The historic town and adjacent mines are a World Heritage Site.

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An aerial view of downtown Guanajuato

The name "Guanajuato" comes from the Tarascan word, "Quanax-juato", which means "place of frogs".

In the Panteón catacombs to the west of the city is a famous cemetery noted for the natural mummies produced by the mineral content of the soil. In the late 1800s the town instituted a "burial tax" for the families of the deceased. Some of the poorest families were unable to pay the tax, so their relatives were dug up and placed on public view in a purpose-built museum. The state removed the tax in the 1950s and no more mummies have been disinterred.

The city of Guanajuato was the birthplace of artist Diego Rivera, whose house is now a museum.

The city also harbours one of the largest places in Mexico for mathematical research, a public institution dubbed CIMAT.

Each October the city holds the Festival Internacional Cervantino, an international festival of the arts named after Miguel de Cervantes. The festival is a popular draw for young students from across central Mexico, but attracts participants and spectators from around the world.

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External links

ca:Guanajuato da:Guanajuato (by) de:Guanajuato (Stadt) es:Guanajuato (ciudad) fr:Guanajuato

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