Celaya Tourist Attractions
How to get thereBy rail in about 6.5 hours; by bus in about 3.5 hours; by car on the MEX 57, about 270km/168mi.The busy town of Celaya lies north-west of Mexico City in a fertile valley basin known as Bajío. Although not exactly favoured by its location, the town has attractive parks and squares as well as some fine examples of Baroque and Neo-Classical architecture.HistoryFounded in 1570 by sixteen families from the Basque country, Celaya (Basque: "zalaya" 5 "lowland") was granted full civic status in the mid 17th c. Its most famous son, Francisco Eduardo Tresguerras (1759-1833), was a man of many parts, an architect, artist and poet of distinction. Like most of Guanajuato's cities, Celaya played a leading role in the Mexican War of Independence (1810-21) and it was here in 1915, during the Revolution, that the bloodiest battle in Mexican history was fought, in which the future president, Alvaro Obregón, finally succeeded in defeating Francisco ("Pancho") Villa.The main, arcade-surrounded square (Plaza Principal, Jardín) has recently been embellished with a new town hall (Palacio Municipal).The nearby Plaza de Armas contains three buildings of note, Francisco Eduardo Tresguerras's monument to Mexican Independence (Monumento a la Independencia) and two churches, the Iglesia de la Tercer Orden (Church of the Third Order) and Iglesia de la Cruz (Church of the Cross).The façade, towers and high altar of the 17th c. church of San Francisco, on the corner of Miguel Doblado and Guadalupe Victoria streets, are also examples of Tresguerras's work, he having been responsible for their redesign.
Church of Nuestra Señora del Carmen
The highly versatile Tresguerras's real masterpiece, however, is the church of Nuestra Señora del Carmen, built between 1803 and 1807. Despite its size the Neo-Classical building captivates through its sheer grace and harmony. Note in particular the main dome by Tresguerras, also the sculptures, altar-pieces and frescos, all likewise by his hand. The finest of his murals are those in the Capilla del Juicio (Chapel of the Last Judgment). In addition to their principal theme, the frescos portray the raising of Lazarus from the dead and the burial of Tobias. Tresguerras also designed the unusual bridge which crosses the Río Laja a short distance from the city.
One of the main attractions of Yuriria is the mid 16th C San Augustinian Convent. On display here are a number of 17th and 18th C paintings.
Apaseo el Alto
Apaseo el Alto, about 25km/16mi south-east of Celaya, is widely known for its blown glass and fine wood carvings.