La Presa de la Olla

The reservoir known as La Presa de la Olla is one of the great civil works from the eighteenth century still in existence. It is the focus of a number of annual celebrations, the most important of which takes place on the first Monday of July, when the sluice gates are officially opened. It was built in 1741 to deal with the constant water shortages that Guanajuato suffered. The site picked for the reservoir was a ranch named “La Olla”, which at the time stood outside the city. The first water was let into the reservoir in 1747, before construction had even finished, and it continued to supply water to the city’s inhabitants for over a century and a half.

In the mid-nineteenth century, the crest of the dam was decorated with a series of sandstone statues and in 1875 the garden that sits at its foot was inaugurated by general Florencio Antillón, whose name it now bears. The small tower on one of its banks dates to the time of President Porfirio Díaz, when the city limits were extended to include this point on the reservoir.

There are boats hire if you feel like a pleasant row on its peaceful waters. Across from the jetty is the Jardín de las Acacias, notable for its elegant statue of Miguel Hidalgo, liberator of the Mexican people. On the other side of the park, we come to the stairway leading up to the San Renovato reservoir.

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