Alhóndiga de Granaditas

The Granaditas corn exchange was the pride of the Spanish governor Juan Antonio de Riaño. The construction of this building began on January 1, 1798 and it was finished in 1808.  It represented the end of famine events in Guanajuato: its broad galleries and corridors stored grain seeds and the necessary provisions. It was designed by Alejandro Durán y Villaseñor, but its construction was supervised and executed by José del Mazo y Avilés. It is one of the first buildings in a neoclassical style ever built in the country.

When the War of Independence began, Riaño himself turn it into a fortress that provided shelter to peninsular Spaniards, their families and troops loyal to the Spanish Crown. On September 28, 1810 the first battle between revels and Realists took place in this building; Riaño was one of the very first victims.

The ferocious resistance prevented a bloody victory of the crowd that followed Miguel Hidalgo. The victory, as you know, was decisive thank to the braveness of ‘El Pípila’, a miner from Guanajuato who put fire to one of the doors of this solid and austere building.

The corn exchange also served as barracks, prison, and school and, since half a century ago, the Regional Museum of Guanajuato; the historical elements it contains are explained in 10 rooms. Another prominent element of the building is constituted by the mural paintings of José Chávez Morado, one of the main artists of Guanajuato.

The Ahlóndiga de Granditas was originally the town corn exchange, the pride and joy of Spanish Governor Juan Antonio de Riaño. Begun on January 1, 1798, the building was finished in 1808. Its construction brought an end to the threat of famine in Guanajuato: its broad galleries and hallways could house all the grain and provisions required. Although designed by Alejandro Durán y Villaseñor, the construction was overseen and carried out by José del Mazo y Avilés. The building is one of the first in the country to be built in the Neoclassical style.

With the outbreak of the War of Independence, Riaño himself oversaw the conversion of the building into a stronghold in order to provide shelter for those who remained loyal to the Spanish Crown and the troops who protected them. And so it was that, on September 28, 1810, la Alhóndiga was the site of the first battle between the rebels and the royalists, and Riaño was one of the war’s first victims.

Despite the ferocious resistance of the Spaniards, Miguel Hidalgo and his followers scored a bloody but decisive victory, in large part due to the bravery of the famous “Pípila” – a miner who, according to legend, set fire to the doors of this solid, austere building.

The building has also served as a barracks, a prison and even a school, and now, for over half a century, it has been home to the Guanajuato Regional Museum. In addition to its imposing architecture, the building is also graced by a series of dramatic murals by the renowned Guanajuato artist José Chávez Morado.