The Best Guide to Guanajuato

Basilica Guanajuato Mexico

Of the 23 churches or religious buildings in the relatively small area of central Guanajuato the Nuestra Señora de Guanajuato or more simple the Guanajuato Basilica is both the most visually striking and historically important. The exterior of the Guanajuato Basilica is painted a powerful shade of yellow with wine red detail and domed roof.

Guanajuato Basilica

The stunning Guanajuato Basilica

There are numerous other religious buildings in Guanajuato painted similar with this distinctive colour scheme but none are as impressive as the basilica. The main portal is surrounded by a decorative pink sandstone formation of stepped layers with carvings of the saints.

Guanajuato Basilica Tourist Guide

To enhance to magnificence of the Guanajuato Basilica, it is positioned on a slight hill which when viewed from the town makes the basilica stand higher than the surrounding buildings and if viewed from the surrounding hills it gives the illusion of the Guanajuato Basilica elevated above everything else. The basilica was initially constructed in 1671 but was remodeled to demonstration of wealth commanded by the leading silver Baron's after the independence of Mexico from Spain.


The Basilica Colegiata de Nuestra Señora is on the Plaza de la Paz (Plaza of Peace) the main square of Guanajuato. The Basilica of Guanajuato is located at the heart of Guanajuato both centrally, historically and religiously. The Basilica is dedicated to Our Lady of Guanajuato (Nuestra Señora de Guanajuato) who is the patron saint and protector of the city.

Interior of the Guanajuato Basilica Mexico

Inside the Guanajuato Basilica is jewel incrusted image of the Virgin Mary which was supposedly hidden in a cave for over 800 years, initially hidden from the Moors during the invasions of Spain. The sacred artifact was presented to the mining town Guanajuato in 1557 as a gift from King Philip II in recognition of the vast quantities of silver being produced for the Spanish monarchy. The date when the statue was inaugurated is celebrated within the city with religious processions lead by the statue on a bed of flowers, the inauguration is celebrated on the 9th of August.

interior Guanajuato Basilica

The interior Guanajuato Basilica

The Basilica of Guanajuato was designed in the Mexican Baroque style, but over the course of the life of the church there has been major alterations and additions. The most notable is the clock tower added by the Count of Valenciana. The church was given the status of minor Basilica in 1696 and upgraded to full basilica status in 1957.

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