Underneath Guanajuato, there is another Guanajuato. Along the years, different historical events have resulted in the different levels of buildings in the city. You only have to look the structures next to the temple of San Diego to prove this. What you can see there is part of the former Convent of San Pedro de Alcántara.
In 1663 the Franciscans barefoot order founded this convent and its temple of San Diego de Alcalá, although it is not quite the same as the current temple across Jardín Unión (Union Garden). The main cause of this change of construction levels is the flooding events that affected the city for years, forcing its inhabitants to build their houses and public buildings several meters on top of the ground level in this area where the river was. The last flooding event took place in 1780, the time when that convent was there, which buried structure can be partially seen thanks to the research and recovery work you may see at Museo Dieguino.
Beneath Guanajuato lies another, different Guanajuato, since the history of the city has meant that it has been constructed in a series of distinct layers. A glance at the side of the church of San Diego is proof enough. What you see before you now is the former Monastery of San Pedro de Alcántara. In 1663, the order of the Friars Minor – popularly known as Barefoot Franciscans – founded the monastery and church of San Diego de Alcalá, although its design was originally a little different than the one now standing across from the town’s central Jardín Unión.
The main reason for these varying levels of construction was the severe flooding that affected the town for many years, forcing the inhabitants to build their homes and public buildings several meters above ground level wherever they came close to the river. The last major flood was in 1780, and the monastery was there to witness it. Today, thanks to modern research and restoration work, we now have part of the monastery back as the Museo Dieguino.