If you lift your gaze above the buildings, your eyes will meet the colossal monument that dominates the city of Guanajuato. Numerous stories and legends tell how El Pípila changed the history of Mexico. On September 28, 1810, with a flaming torch in one hand and a great block of stone on his shoulder, this miner, whose real name was Juan José de los Reyes Martínez Amaro, fought his way to the door of the Alhóndiga de Granaditas and set fire to it. With this, the battle turned in favor of the insurgents and sparked the independence movement throughout New Spain. Guanajuato has not forgotten its hero: in 1939, the summit of the San Miguel hill was given over to the construction of this enormous sculpture in his honor. Designed by artist Juan Fernando Olaguíbel, who is also responsible for the celebrated statue of Diana the Huntress, and was constructed from stand stone by Agustín Gutiérrez.
A trip to the summit well repays the effort. The view from up there is magnificent and lets you see the true beauty of Guanajuato and the buildings in its Historical Center, such as the Basilica of Our Lady of Guanajuato, the Juárez Theater, main building of the University of Guanajuato, the Jardín Unión, and the Alhóndiga de Granaditas. There are a variety of ways to get to the viewing platform at the foot of the monument: you can climb up through one of the alleyways that wind up from the Historic Center, you can drive or take a bus, or you can use the cable car. A photo from this point of the panorama of Guanajuato is a must for all visitors. And if you want to go even higher, for a few pesos more, you can climb the narrow stairway inside the statue itself. It’s the perfect spot to admire the picture postcard view that Guanajuato gives us every single evening.