Mercado Hidalgo, Guanajuato Market
Guanajuato's market (the Mercado Hidalgo) is housed within a classical iron structure, which dates from the final stages of the industrial era. Mercado Hidalgo, Guanajuato’s market is a chaotic collection of market stalls, selling a wide range of items and a fantastic place for visitors to haggle for gifts.
The exterior of the Mercado Hidalgo Market in Guanajuato
The market’s building structure is a disorganized mixture of different elements, ideas and styles that was originally constructed to be a major train station. The envisaged railway should have brought economic boom to Guanajuato but it was never finalised. The project was supposed to be so great that Alexandre Gustave Eiffel was enticed to work on the project.
The Mercado Hidalgo, Guanajuato's Failed Project
This Mexican great building project rapidly evolved from the 1905 conception to being completely dropped after the finalization of the station in 1910. So when the aging president Porfirio Diaz inaugurated the station in 1910, the station was rapidly transformed into a market.
Conveniently the inauguration coincided with the centennial celebrations of Mexican independence, so the market was named after Miguel Hidalgo one of Guanajuato state's early Mexican independence martyrs. Porfirio Diaz had performed an amazing public relations act by transforming an expensive unwanted structure into a building which Guanajuato's residents would use, take pride in and in doing so, recalled a local hero of the independence movement.
The Name Origins of Mercado Hidalgo, Guanajuato
Miguel Hidalgo, which the market is named after, was a Mexican priest who along with three others, instigated the first victory in the Mexican War of Independence, the storming of the “Alhóndiga de Granaditas”, which stands across the road from the market. For Miguel Hidalgo's part in the rebellion he was executed and his head strung up on the corner of the old grain storage building (“Alhóndiga de Granaditas’s” building) looking over the location of the market that now bears his name.
The Hidalgo’s Market, Guanajuato building was constructed during an era when iron and steel were an art form and not just a structural foundation. The clock tower, which unfortunately was not working at the time of writing, tops the lattice steel structure that was designed by possible the greatest iron artist that ever lived: Alexandre Gustave Eiffel (creator of the famous Eiffel Tower). The tower also makes for a key navigational landmark when navigating through Guanajuato.
Inside the Mercado Hidalgo Market
The food market, known as the Gavira market provides some of the cheapest, but authentically best quality Mexican food and it’s located outside on the left side of the main covered market. The three levels of the Gavira market houses micro-restaurants, which vie for trade, each specialising in a certain style or meat product. The food served here is as good as in any restaurant, but the prices are a fraction of the cost, just perfect for a quick lunch.
Shopping in the Mercado Hidalgo, Guanajuato
The stalls in the Hidalgo Market both cater for tourists and locals. Many of the gift stalls tend to be congregated around the upper level, with the stalls selling local daily items for the residents of Guanajuato on the lower concourses.
There are many stalls selling the same items, but there are equally some truly unique items on sale. The best idea is to explore first before purchasing. As many of the gifts on sale are sold by multiple stalls never be persuaded to purchase from the first stall. Visit 2 or 3 stalls before parting with your cash. All Mexicans are friendly and do not be afraid to say no to a price and walk away.