h the gates of this former hacienda you find yourself looking at one of guanajuato’s most beautiful vistas: a tree-lined avenue winding down towards enigmatic gardens that you can just spy in the distance. to one side is a walkway covered over by creepers, while on the other, the courtyard of a beautiful colonial house beckons.
the history of this great complex of gardens and works of art is long: some 200 years ago, all this was very different, as it was actually five hard working haciendas – mostly foundries – founded at the start of the eighteenth century by spanish army captain gabriel de barrera. the main hacienda was named barrera grande or san gabriel de barrera.
following various changes of owner and function, in the twentieth century the main hacienda was finally renovated. the large trees we see now were sown and the main residence was enhanced by a number of works of art. the gold altarpiece in its chapel, a magnificent piece of eighteenth-century art, is worth a visit in itself.
its wonderful gardens – which are open daily – were planted over the area where once the workers processed the silver ore.