Monday, May 10, 2010

Guanajuato's Independence Route

During 2010, Mexico is commemorating both the bicentennial of its War of Independence against Spain and the centennial of the Mexican Revolution that overthrew the dictatorship of Porfirio Diaz. As part of the celebrations, a number of specially marked historical routes along the nation's highways have been established.

Mexico's struggle for independence began on September 15, 1810, when a parish priest named Miguel Hidalgo issued his famous call to arms or "Grito de Dolores" in the town of Dolores Hidalgo. On the following day, Hidalgo and his ragtag army of some 20,000 rebels marched to the city of Guanajuato where they stormed the Alhondiga de Granaditas. Barricaded inside this former granary's massive walls were Spanish troops and wealthy loyalists. With the help a local miner nicknamed "El Pipila," who managed to set the Alhondiga's wooden doors on fire, the rebels entered the Alhondiga after a long siege and killed almost everyone inside, thereby winning the first battle of the war.

One of the "Ruta 2010" road trips that I can highly recommend is the Ruta de la Independencia (Independence Route) in the state of Guanajuato. This tour begins in Dolores Hidalgo and ends in the city of Guanajuato. The itinerary includes stops at ten of the historical locales visted by Miguel Hidalgo and his insurgents on their march to Guanajuato.

Below is a slide-show of some of the places along the Independence Route that I have explored. Mouse over the images to view captions. Please click on individual slides for more information.

Guanajuato - Independence Route - Images by John Mitchell

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