León, Guanajuato – Called the World Footwear Capital because of the large number of factories that produce shoes and high quality leather for national and international markets.
Special Events – Cultural Forum, Head of International Balloon Festival, MotoFiesta, Cervantes Festival, Feria de León, Teatro del Pueblo, Lake Forum, etc..
The Toltec, Chichimeca and Guamares, among others, settled in the vicinity of what is now León. Near the city you can visit the archaeological sites of Alfaro and Ibarrilla dating from the Pre-classical era.
Ibarrilla archaeological zone is extensive with more than a dozen pyramids in an oval structure. It’s a shame to see these areas as they have been neglected. A few years ago some kids playing soccer found a skull and played with it as if it was ball untiel they destroyed it completely.
The Chupícuaro, (meaning blue from the Tarasco language) settled on this area and pottery, various instruments, pre-Hispanic objects, ceramic with geometric shapes, figures and skeletal remains were found. In the small museum there are pieces of the Otomi, Mazahua and Tarascan civilization. Along the Río Lerma these ancient civilizations settled growing corn, beans and squash.
The archaeological site of Peñón de Alfaro is completely abandoned by the authorities. Years ago summer courses were offered but today is covered with trash, graffiti and a football field. The site that is similar in size to that of the Cañada de la Virgen near San Miguel de Allende, was inhabited by Tarascan, Teotihuacán and Chichimeca. The area was used for rituals and instruction. Bones, pottery, figures and a tunnel have been found in what was once a sacred place. Other archaeological sites in Guanajuato have been destroyed by urbanization.
With the arrival of the Spanish, the Indians that were peaceful were grouped into two communities; the Otomí in what is now San Miguel de Allende, the Purépecha, Mexica and Chichimeca were sent to Coecillo. The Chichimeca who resisted were killed along with other Indians who could represent danger. Many of the Indians were used as slaves, raped women and the other men were destroyed. At that time the Indians were considered ‘less than animals’ for not believing in the God of the Spanish.
According to INAH, Mexico has registered nearly 37,000 archaeological sites, although it is estimated that there may be more than one hundred thousand.
In recent years in Guanajuato skeletons along with various instruments and pre-Hispanic objects have been found.
The Villa de León, now León was founded in 1576 by the Viceroy Don Martin Enriquez Almaza to create a defense against attacks by the Chichimeca that were the ones that resisted more than the other groups. In 1830 the official name was León de los Aldama. During the War of Independence, Guanajuato mines were abandoned and many workers settled in León being agriculturethe main economic activity. Later on, on the XVIII C. century craftsmanship and shoe-making were the main activities.
- Parque Metropolitano de León: 337 hectares – recreational and ecological park 85% of the dam of El Palote is inside the park.
- Galería de Arte Sacro: Sacred Art Gallery is an annex of the Metropolitan Cathedral which shows the history of the evangelization in the Diocese of León.
- Ruta Del Peatón en León, Guanajuato – Pedestrian Route
You can take a walking tour along the Pedestrian Route to visit the main tourist and cultural centers of the city. This route goes from León Polyforum, Guanajuato Cultural Forum, via La Calzada, Madero Street, Centro Histórico (downtown) up to the Plaza del Mariachi.
- Museo de Arte e Historia de Guanajuato – Art and History Museum
- Biblioteca Central Estatal – State Library
- Teatro Del Bicentenario – Theater
- Departamento de Estudios Culturales de la Universidad de Guanajuato – Cultural Department of the University of Guanajuato
- Auditorio Mateo Herrera – Auditorium
- Jardín De Las Esculturas – Sculpture Garden
- Calzada de Los Héroes
- Puente del Amor – Lovers Bridge
- Paseo de La Calzada
- Monumento Torero Rodolfo Gaona
- Arco de la Calzada
- Calle Madero
- Templo Expiatorio
Casa De La Cultura
San Miguel de Allende to León – 157 Km./97 miles – 2 hours
From León to:
Aguascalientes – 129 Km./80 miles – 1 Hr. 30 min.
Cuernavaca – 477 Km./296 miles – 4 Hrs. 50 min.
Guadalajara 226 Km./140 miles – 2 Hrs. 20 min.
México D.F. 390 Km./242 miles – 4 Hrs.