Guanajuato’s origins go back to the battles waged to keep the mines from the Chichimec people, which led to the construction of four fortresses in order to protect the miners. One of these strongholds, named the Santa Fe, was sited on the hill known as Cerro del Cuarto.
Of the four, this fortress was the one which developed and grew; so much so that it grew to become the city of Guanajuato that we see today. In order to guarantee the health of the mi neworkers, who were members of local tribes, as well as the elderly and children, the Spaniards set up hospitals. Almost all of these were located on the slopes of Cerro del Cuarto, which earned it the nickname “Hospital Hill”.
Today, the roundabout and nearby viewing point stand on the route into the city center, but the steep, winding path is also a favorite of trail walkers, joggers and mountain bikers.
The viewing point offers a great view of the mountains that surround Guanajuato as well the old mine works nearby, such as the Rayas and Mellado mines, whose tunnels trace the route of the legendary Mother Lode, a rocky, mineral rich vein that runs through the hills that circle the town.