Jardín Unión: Both a meeting place and a point of departure. Everything is so enticing: The music issuing from the bandstand, the “norteño” rhythms of the street musicians and laughter of the students. Or perhaps the eyes that meet as they pass, the terraces of the bars and cafés, the shapely trees, the statue of El Pípila that looms over the top of the Juarez Theater, the atmosphere itself. This is Guanajuato. The city and everything that happens in it begin here.
Where this popular garden square now stands was once the Plaza de San Diego, named for its proximity to the now absent monastery and church founded by the Franciscans centuries before.
It was in 1861 that the improvised plaza was transformed into the Jardín Unión. Sidewalks were built and benches and oil-fired streetlamps were installed. Some years later, the first electric street lighting made its debut here; then, during the presidency of Porfirio Díaz, came the bandstand, where to this day, every Thursday and Sunday, the State Musical Band serenades passersby.