Archived Pages from 20th Century!!
Nestled in a lush sunny valley, Guanajuato has become a favorite vacation spot among natives. During the mid-1500's, the town became known for the vast amounts of silver embeddeed beneath its streets, and became one of Mexico's wealthiest cities. Lots of examples of Spanish Colonial architecture can be found across the town's crazy winding tunnel-filled streets. Guanajuato is famous for its authenticity; local laws protect its beauty by prohibiting the construction of modern buildings. Guanajuato is the birthplace of muralist Diego Rivera, and houses a museum dedicated to his life.
Guanajuato is also known for its mummies. Until recently, to be buried in the small cemetery there, one must pay a burial plot fee which must be renewed by descendants of the deceased. If the fee can not be paid, the corpse is dug up and placed behind glass in a museum,and because of some sort of magical properties of the soil, the exhumed bodies are surprisingly well preserved- with hair, skin and often clothing still intact.
When I heard about this, I thought "Eech! who would want to see THAT?" But I had to sate my curiosity. When I arrived at the museum, I was amazed at the number of people in line to witness this morbidity. Because of the amazing way that Mexicans view death, the atmosphere among those on the tour was quite unusual for me.. almost religious. Outside, the sale of commemorative keychains and t-shirts depicting skulls and coffins was in full swing.