Silao de la Victoria is a city in the west-central part of the state of Guanajuato, Mexico. Silao with a population of 147,123 is an agricultural and industrial center. Being part of the Bajio region in Mexico known for its major grain harvest, Silao crops range from corn, broccoli, and sorghum to beans, wheat, and barley. Silao also has large fruit orchards that include avocado, apricots, guava, and walnuts. The American company, General Motors has a truck and SUV plant in Silao that makes GMC and Chevrolet pickups and SUVs like the Chevrolet Avalanche.
Visitors to Silao are most likely just passing through, perhaps having come into town by way of the Del Bajio International Airport. If you are spending any length of time in Silao, there are some interesting attractions to check out. The city is known to be a very conservative Catholic city with 17th century monuments and other attractions that reflect their beliefs. Still, the best attraction that Silao has might be its proximity to the neighboring city of Guanajuato and its attractions.
Attractions & Things To Do in Silao
Cerro del Cubilete – in Silao, this site is considered the geographic center of the country of Mexico. At the highest point of this mountainous setting (2500 meters) is an important monument called the Monument to Cristo Rey or Christ the King.
Monument to Cristo Rey – a monument built to represent the unity of the people of Mexico in their devotion to Jesus Christ and the Catholic faith. Construction began on the monument in December of 1945 and was finished in August of 1949. It stands 20 meters from head to foot, dominating the scenery surrounding Silao.
Museum of the Chávez Morado Brothers – this Silao museum’s exhibits include murals and sculptures from the artists.
Casa de la Cultura – Silao’s House of Culture was previously the military quarters of Silao.
Historic Monuments – Silao has a few 17th century monuments including the neoclassical Parroquia de Santiago Apóstol, and the Templo del Santuario. The Templo de la Casa de Ejercicios was built in 1834.
Visit Guanajuato – just 10 minutes away from Silao, is Guanajuato, which is the capital of the state of the same name. What makes this city so interesting is that due to its location in a narrow valley, the city streets are narrow and winding, so narrow that cars cannot pass through. Many are just alleys, and some have long sets of stairs travelling up the mountainside. In addition to that marvel, many of the city’s streets are partially or fully underground. The historical areas of the city are colorful, with colonial mansions, churches and government buildings built in pink or green sandstone.
The Mummies of Guanajuato – the city of Guanajuato’s most famous tourist attraction. Considered the largest assemblage of mummies in the Western Hemisphere, this museum contains a collection of 111 bodies that mummified naturally in the adjacent cemetery. The mummies were disinterred from the cemetery between 1870 to 1958, and were people who died between 1850 and as recent as 1950. How it became a museum is really quite interesting, and eerie.
In 1870, a new law required residents to pay a tax for the continuing burial of their deceased relatives. If survivors didn't pay the tax, the authorities exhumed the body. It turns out that some of the exhumed bodies had been naturally mummified. If that was the case, they stored the mummified body in a building above ground, and soon put them on display, for a fee. Initially, visitors were allowed to touch the mummies, some even break off pieces for souvenirs. In 1970, the town built a modern museum to display the mummies with proper lighting, ventilation, and glass exhibit cases.
In 1958, the powers that be eradicated the burial tax.