If you find yourself standing in front of the fountain in the Plaza del Baratillo, go ahead: take that photo; you’re looking at one of Guanajuato’s favorite icons.
The nineteenth-century Florentine fountain – the center of a daily ring of street vendors selling everything from flowers and vegetables to quesadillas – sits on a bearing four fantastical bronze fish that skip through the water as it cascades over the green sandstone.
The fountain originally stood in the town’s main square, the Plaza de La Paz, but was replaced by the current monument to Peace. In 1893, it was decided to relocate it to the Plaza del Baratillo, which at the time was host to a street market selling goods at low prices, and which is where the name “Baratillo” comes from.
Ringed by colonial style houses, the square is the hub of a network of alleyways. Although officially titled the General Manuel González in honor of the former Governor of Guanajuato and subsequent President of the Republic, the square is known to all simply as “El Baratillo”.