Dolores Hidalgo, Birthplace of National Independence

Its full name is Dolores Hidalgo, Birthplace of National Independence; it is in the State of Guanajuato. It got this name because the atrium of its parish church was the place of the famous Grito de Dolores, where Priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla summoned the people to go up in arms against the Spanish regime in September 1810.

The main economic activities of this small population are tourism, crafts, grapevines and sheep but it is especially famous for its pottery in Talavera style. Its climate varies between temperatures of 99º F and 38º F throughout the year.

The House-Museum of Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla is where he lived and still preserves his furniture. This ancient mansion from the end of the XVIII century now recreates the era’s ambiance and exhibits personal objects, documents from the War of Independence, priestly clothes, a Virgin of Guadalupe banner, the first edict regarding the abolition of slavery and a funerary urn with Hidalgo’s remains.

Also of great importance is the House of Abasolo, where Juarez lived in 1863 and Maximiliano in 1864. In homage to Hidalgo, Allende, Aldama and Abasolo, a monument was built to the Heroes of the Independence. It is also crucial to see the imposing monument to Miguel Hidalgo built at the end of the XIX century.

The Parish Church of Our Lady of Dolores is the largest church in the city and one of the finest examples of the last stage of Mexican colonial baroque. Its atrium witnessed the Grito de Dolores. Every September 15, this is where a representative of the president reenacts the shout for independence, while the president does the same at Mexico City’s zocalo. According to legend, Hidalgo took the gold leaves that were to cover this temple’s altarpiece in order to help finance his cause.

The Museum of National Independence exhibits documents from the War of Independence and is were Miguel Hidalgo imprisoned the Spaniards that were living in Dolores at the beginning of the struggle. It constantly hosts important temporary exhibits by multiple artists from around the world.

The City’s administration is hosted in what was once the house of Mariano Abasolo and where he was born in 1784. One of the most important personalities of the Independence, he rebelled together with Hidalgo and Allende against the Spaniards. Inside there are murals representing the city’s history and a replica of the bell that summoned the people on the morning of September 16, 1810.

This city is named Dolores in honor of the religious order of Our Lady of Dolores, that settled on the north of the State of Guanajuato for converting the Otomi Indians living in Cocomaca or “place where herons are hunted”. And it has the name of Hidalgo in honor of Don Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, father of Mexico’s Independence.

The Mausoleum of José Alfredo Jimenez holds the remains of this famous singer-songwriter and was constructed to commemorate his XXV death anniversary.

Artículo Producido por el Equipo Editorial de Explorando México.
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Foto: jj.figueroa