Dynamic Salamanca, Guanajuato of Mexico is a rapidly growing city, primarily due to its prosperous petrochemical industry. It is the site of the largest Pemex refinery in Mexico, the l1th largest refinery in the world. Many refineries have opened in Salamanca and much of the city’s expansion is centered around the industry, having attracted people from such places as Mexico City, Veracruz, and Oaxaca, who come here to work.
Salamanca is also a huge university and college town. The state University of Guanajuato is located here, and the school has contributed much more than higher education to the region. The University is known for its scientific contributions, having developed industrial and agricultural technologies, which have had a tremendous impact on regional and local industries.
The city reports a 2010 census population of approximately 260, 000, the fourth-largest in the state, and shouldn’t be confused with the other four places in Mexico named Salamanca.
One thing always leads to another, and the movement of people from other locations also brings a need for transport services to and from the city for business people, employees, and tourists.
A well-oiled bus transport system is available here and was developed to boost the region’s entire “industrial corridor” that run across the Bajio (lowland region of Guanajuato).
If you are visiting Salamanca you will experience much more than an industry and education orientated city. There are many other interesting attractions in the city. With its diverse population, each offering their own take on the best that food has to offer, you’ll see food stands on nearly every corner, selling everything from hamburgers and pizza (they certainly have the college students in mind here) to enchiladas, goritas, and carnitas. Locally made ice cream and ice pops are also very popular here.
If you are looking for a little night-life, Salamanca is known for its numerous low-cost cantinas and restaurants, suitable for anyone’s budget, including that of the University student.
Salamanca is also a city rich in handcrafted artistry. In Salamanca’s shops, you will find great souvenirs, gifts, and Christmas presents. The city is famous for its wax nativity scenes, candy, and figurines made from wax, bronze, and pewter. And don’t miss checking out the headquarters for the Center for the Arts of Guanajuato, which is located here.
If you are an ancient architecture buff, you’ll find much to explore in Salamanca. The city’s most important structures include:
16th Century Parish Church Santoario del Expiatorio ~ Salamanca’s very first church.
17th Century Iglesia de San Agustín – construction began on the San Agustin Church in 1642 and was completed 64 years later in 1706. The church has a simple façade, but inside are 11 magnificent 24-carat gold altar pieces.
16th Century San Juan Bautista Chapel – the first chapel of the Augustinian missionaries.
17th – 18th Century Parroquia de Santa Maria de Nativitas – construction began in 1656 and was completed in 1783. The church offers a beautiful baroque-style façade and an ancient sculpture of Michael the Archangel. Located just outside of Salamanca.
17th Century San Juan de Sahagun – a former convent, and church, featuring 12 monumental altarpieces made from 24-carat gold plated sheeting.
17th Century Parroquia Antigua – has an impressive façade; construction began in 1603 and was completed in 1690. Features the original mesquite wood flooring.
19th Century Templo do las Tres Caidas – inside are religious murals depicting the works of Don Zeferino Rico, a Salamanca painter. Murals depict Christ and his three falls on the road to his crucifixion.
18th Century Templo de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe – the small, legendary church is the home of the “Ghostly Mass at Midnight”.
St. Bartolmé Apostol – a former parish located in the city.
Birth Monument – constructed in wax by local craftsman, it’s a religious scene depicting the birth of Christ. Shepherds, angels, wise men, and the holy family are all dressed in costumes of the period.
Salamanca is a bustling city, full of culture and diversity. Whether you are visiting on vacation, for business, or as a student, you will find much to appreciate here!