Alhóndiga de Granaditas

Last updated
Historical Regional Museum, The Grain Exchange of Granaditas
Alhondiga de Granaditas.jpg
Mexico States blank map.svg
Red pog.svg
Location within Mexico
LocationMendizabal 6, Historic District, Guanajauto, Guanajauto
Coordinates 21°01′08″N101°15′29″W / 21.0189°N 101.2581°W / 21.0189; -101.2581
Type History museum
The interior of the Grain Exchange Alhondiga-interior.jpg
The interior of the Grain Exchange

The Alhóndiga de Granaditas (Regional Museum of Guanajuato) (public grain exchange) is an old grain storage building in Guanajuato City, Mexico. This historic building was created to replace an old grain exchange near the city's river. The name Alhóndiga translates roughly from both Arabic and Spanish as grain market or warehouse. It is equivalent to the regional grain exchange. [1] Its construction lasted from 1798 to 1809, by orders of Juan Antonio de Riaño y Bárcena, a Spaniard who was the quartermaster of the city during the Viceroyalty of New Spain. [2] Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla helped build it. The building received World Heritage listing as part of the Historic Town of Guanajuato in 1988. [3]

Corn exchange building where farmers and merchants traded cereal grains

A corn exchange is a building where merchants traded corn. Such trade was common in towns and cities across England until the 19th century, but as the trade became centralised in the 20th century many such buildings were used for other purposes. Several have since become historical landmarks.

Grain Exchange Building

The Grain Exchange Building is a historic building located at 701 Victoria Avenue East in the south side downtown area of Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada.

Mexico country in the southern portion of North America

Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a country in the southern portion of North America. It is bordered to the north by the United States; to the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; to the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and to the east by the Gulf of Mexico. Covering almost 2,000,000 square kilometres (770,000 sq mi), the nation is the fifth largest country in the Americas by total area and the 13th largest independent state in the world. With an estimated population of over 120 million people, the country is the eleventh most populous state and the most populous Spanish-speaking state in the world, while being the second most populous nation in Latin America after Brazil. Mexico is a federation comprising 31 states and Mexico City, a special federal entity that is also the capital city and its most populous city. Other metropolises in the state include Guadalajara, Monterrey, Puebla, Toluca, Tijuana and León.



The Grain Exchange is an example of Neoclassical ideas. [4] The original design was drafted in 1796 by Josė Alejandro Durán y Villaseñor, who was the master of public works. [4] Josė de Mazo y Avilés modified the plans later.

Neoclassicism Western art movements that draw inspiration from the "classical" art and culture of Ancient Greece or Ancient Rome

Neoclassicism is the name given to Western movements in the decorative and visual arts, literature, theatre, music, and architecture that draw inspiration from the "classical" art and culture of classical antiquity. Neoclassicism was born largely thanks to the writings of Johann Joachim Winckelmann, at the time of the rediscovery of Pompeii and Herculaneum, but its popularity spread all over Europe as a generation of European art students finished their Grand Tour and returned from Italy to their home countries with newly rediscovered Greco-Roman ideals. The main Neoclassical movement coincided with the 18th-century Age of Enlightenment, and continued into the early 19th century, laterally competing with Romanticism. In architecture, the style continued throughout the 19th, 20th and up to the 21st century.

It measures 72 by 68 metres, with a height of 23 metres, and occupies an area of 4,828 square metres. It is constructed on the side of a hill and two of its sides are surrounded by elevations. [4] There are no ornamental facets on the exterior, except for a few windows at the top of each storage room. [5] It has cornices built in a Doric style, constructed with two types of regional stonereddish and greenish. This gives it a curious appearance, resembling a stronghold or a castle, which it has come to be called by the people of Guanajuato.[ citation needed ] In the interior, there is a porch that leads to a spacious central patio. The porch contains Tuscan columns and adornments. There are two staircases that lead to the upper floor. The Grain Exchange building has only two access doors, a small one facing the east, adorned by two columns, and a large door of the same basic style, facing the north. The edifice was used for the buying and selling of wheat, corn, and other grains. [6] Prior to the Mexican independence from Spain, it was used as a warehouse, military barracks, and prison. Currently it serves as a regional museum. [5]

Doric order Order of ancient Greek and Roman architecture, with no base to the column, simple capital, and triglyphs on the frieze

The Doric order was one of the three orders of ancient Greek and later Roman architecture; the other two canonical orders were the Ionic and the Corinthian. The Doric is most easily recognized by the simple circular capitals at the top of columns. Originating in the western Dorian region of Greece, it is the earliest and in its essence the simplest of the orders, though still with complex details in the entablature above.

Tuscany Region of Italy

Tuscany is a region in central Italy with an area of about 23,000 square kilometres and a population of about 3.8 million inhabitants (2013). The regional capital is Florence (Firenze).


The corner of the Grain Exchange where Hidalgo's head used to hang. Guanajuato18 guanajuato.jpg
The corner of the Grain Exchange where Hidalgo's head used to hang.

Battle for Grain Exchange at Granaditas

A part of one of the two murals in the Grain Exchange Alhondiga-mural.jpg
A part of one of the two murals in the Grain Exchange

When Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla's insurgent troops threatened to take over this city during the Mexican War of Independence, Riaño secured himself in the Grain Exchange on 28 September 1810, along with many other Spaniards and some rich criollos. [7] There were about 300 loyalists who took refuge from 20,000 rebels led by Hidalgo. [8] Riaño believed that the strength of the building, its ample supplies and its positioning would make it easy to repel the insurgents' attacks. [6] In addition to the corn the building already held, other provisions and twenty-four women were brought in to "make tortillas." [6]

Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla Mexican Roman Catholic priest and a leader of the Mexican War of Independence

Don Miguel Gregorio Antonio Francisco Ignacio Hidalgo-Costilla y Gallaga Mandarte Villaseñor; 8 May 1753 – 30 July 1811), more commonly known as Don Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla or simply Miguel Hidalgo (Spanish pronunciation: [miˈɣel iˈðalɣo], was a Mexican Roman Catholic priest and a leader of the Mexican War of Independence.

Mexican War of Independence armed conflict which ended the rule of Spain in the territory of New Spain

The Mexican War of Independence was an armed conflict, and the culmination of a political and social process which ended the rule of Spain in 1821 in the territory of New Spain. The war had its antecedent in Napoleon's French invasion of Spain in 1808; it extended from the Cry of Dolores by Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla on September 16, 1810, to the entrance of the Army of the Three Guarantees led by Agustín de Iturbide to Mexico City on September 27, 1821. September 16 is celebrated as Mexican Independence Day.

At first the building held, but soon the insurgents surrounded the building and began throwing rocks. Riaño died in this attack. His death caused "division and discord among the defenders of the Grain Exchange." [6] The insurgents decided to burn down the eastern door to be able to enter and attack those that were inside. According to a popular tradition the man chosen to perform this task was Juan José Martínez " El Pípila ", an extraordinarily strong local miner. He is said to have tied a large flat stone to his back to protect himself from the bullet and rock storm expected once he entered. [7] He poured petroleum on the door and lit it using a torch. When the door burnt down, the attackers stormed into the Grain Exchange, led by Martínez. Everyone inside the Grain Exchange was killed [7] and the building sacked. Reportedly, blood stains from the attack could still be seen on the pillars of the building and the main staircase as late as 1906. [9] At the end of the day, hundreds of bodies were buried, and the whole city of Guanajuato pillaged. This event would encourage Hidalgo not to attack Mexico City, afraid his followers would repeat the massacres and looting of Guanajuato.

El Pípila Mexican miner and freedom fighter

El Pípila is the nickname of a local hero of the city of Guanajuato in Mexico. His real name was Juan José de los Reyes Martínez Amaro (1782–1863), son of Pedro Martínez and María Rufina Amaro. Word for a hen turkey, it is said his nickname stands for his freckled face or his laughter resembling the bird's peculiar gargle.

Guanajuato City City & Municipality in Guanajuato, Mexico

Guanajuato is a city and municipality in central Mexico and the capital of the state of the same name. It is part of the macroregion of Bajío. It is in a narrow valley, which makes its streets narrow and winding. Most are alleys that cars cannot pass through, and some are long sets of stairs up the mountainsides. Many of the city's thoroughfares are partially or fully underground. The historic center has numerous small plazas and colonial-era mansions, churches and civil constructions built using pink or green sandstone.

Mexico City Capital in Mexico

Mexico City, or the City of Mexico, is the capital of Mexico and the most populous city in North America. Mexico City is one of the most important cultural and financial centres in the Americas. It is located in the Valley of Mexico, a large valley in the high plateaus in the center of Mexico, at an altitude of 2,240 meters (7,350 ft). The city has 16 boroughs.

These first insurgents eventually fell. The four main participants - Hidalgo, Ignacio Allende, Juan Aldama, and José Mariano Jiménez - were shot by Spanish firing squads, and their bodies decapitated. [10] The four heads were hung from the corners of the Grain Exchange, to discourage other independence movements. [11] The heads remained hanging for ten years, until Mexico achieved its independence. They were then taken to Mexico City and eventually put to rest under el Ángel de la Independencia in 1910.

Ignacio Allende Mexican general

Ignacio José de Allende y Unzaga, born Ignacio Allende y Unzaga, was a captain of the Spanish Army in Mexico who came to sympathize with the Mexican independence movement. He attended the secret meetings organized by Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez, where the possibility of an independent New Spain was discussed. He fought along with Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla in the first stage of the struggle, eventually succeeding him in leadership of the rebellion. Allende was captured by Spanish colonial authorities while he was in Coahuila and executed for treason in Chihuahua.

Juan Aldama Mexican revolutionary rebel soldier

Juan Aldama was a Mexican revolutionary rebel soldier during the Mexican War of Independence in 1810.

José Mariano Jiménez was a Mexican engineer and rebel officer active at the beginning of the Mexican War of Independence.

In 1867, during the French Intervention in Mexico, the Emperor Maximilian ordered the Grain Exchange building to be converted into a prison. [2] It remained a prison for nearly a century. [4]

Between 1955 and 1966, artist José Chávez Morado painted murals on the building reflecting the historical significance of the place. [12] In 1958, the Grain Exchange opened officially as a museum. [12]

Public venue

Attached to one side of the Grain Exchange is a large plaza with a set of wide steps that rise to meet the edge of the building. During the annual International Cervantino Festival, this space is converted into a large open air auditorium for live performances. The shows (often music and dance by groups of worldwide acclaim) are free to the general public, with reserved seats directly below the stage.

Inside of the museum are exhibits and art honoring heroes of the Independence. [13] The museum also holds a collection of Pre-Columbian art donated by Morado and his wife in 1975. [14]

Related Research Articles

José María Morelos Mexican general

José María Teclo Morelos Pérez y Pavón was a Mexican Roman Catholic priest and revolutionary rebel leader who led the Mexican War of Independence movement, assuming its leadership after the execution of Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla in 1811. Morelos and Ignacio López Rayón are credited with organizing the war of independence. Under Morelos the Congress of Anáhuac was installed on September 13, 1813 and in November 6 of the same year congress declared the country's independence. On October 22, 1814 a constitution, Decreto Constitucional para la Libertad de la América Mexicana, was drafted by the Congress which declared that Mexico would be a Republic.

Olga Costa was a painter and cultural promoter who immigrated to Mexico from Germany when she was twelve. She began to study art at the Academy of San Carlos but left after only three months to help support her family. However, she met her husband, artist José Chávez Morado during this time. Her marriage to him involved her in Mexico’s cultural and intellectual scene and she began to develop her ability to paint on her own, with encouragement from her husband. She had numerous exhibitions of her work in Mexico, with her work also sent to be sold in the United States. She was also involved in the founding and development of various galleries, cultural societies and three museums in the state of Guanajuato. She received the Premio Nacional de Ciencias y Artes among others for her work.

Anastasio Bustamante President of Mexico

Anastasio Bustamante y Oseguera was president of Mexico three times, from 1830 to 1832, from 1837 to 1839 and from 1839 to 1841. A Conservative, he first came to power by leading a coup against President Vicente Guerrero. Bustamante was deposed twice and exiled to Europe both times.

Pénjamo Place in Guanajuato, Mexico

Penjamo, is the seat of Pénjamo municipality, one of 46 municipalities of Guanajuato, Mexico. It is one of the cities with major commercial movement of the State, and is considered to be the major City of the Southwest of the entity and the city number 17 in population statewide. Great part of the city is located to skirts of Penjamo's Mountains. The city forms a part of the Route 2010, which includes important scenes of the national independence and Mexican revolution.

Battle of Calderón Bridge battle

The Battle of Calderón Bridge was a decisive battle in the Mexican War of Independence. It was fought in January 1811 on the banks of the Calderón River 60 km (37 mi) east of Guadalajara in present-day Zapotlanejo, Jalisco.

José Chávez Morado was a Mexican artist who was associated with the Mexican muralism movement of the 20th century. His generation followed that of Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco and David Alfaro Siqueiros. Although Chávez Morado took classes in California and Mexico, he is considered to be mostly self-taught. He experimented with various materials, and was an early user of Italian mosaic in monumental works. His major works include murals at the Ciudad Universitaria, Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes and Museo Nacional de Antropología in Mexico City as well as frescos at the Alhóndiga de Granaditas, which took twelve years to paint. From the 1940s on, he also worked as a cultural promoter, establishing a number of cultural institutions especially in his home state of Guanajuato including the Museo de Arte Olga Costa - José Chávez Morado, named after himself and his wife, artist Olga Costa.

Events in the year 1810 in Mexico.

Celebration of Mexican political anniversaries in 2010

In 2010, Mexico celebrated both the 200th anniversary of its Independence and 100th anniversary of its Revolution. The entire year was proclaimed by President Felipe Calderón as "Año de la Patria", or "Year of the Nation." 16 September 1810 is the day of the "Grito de Dolores" or Miguel Hidalgo's call to take up arms against the Spanish colonial government. The start of the Mexican Revolution is celebrated as being 20 November 1910, when Francisco "Pancho" Villa and Pascual Orozco led the first insurrectionist attack. Events and other promotions of these celebrations were designed to link of Mexico's identity and historic continuity. During a speech at the inauguration of the Casa de Allende Historic Museum, Felipe Calderón called upon Mexico to use the upcoming anniversaries to reflect on where the country has been and to think about what kind of Mexico descendants will inherit in the future. He said the vision of the insurgents of the War of Independence was forward, not backward, so every celebration of these past events must consider the future as well.

Alhóndiga is a Spanish word meaning a building for the commerce of wheat. It comes from Andalusi Arabic alfúndaq, itself from Classical Arabic funduq (فندق), "an inn", and ultimately from The Greek pandocheion, lit.: "welcoming all", and thus meaning 'inn'.

Tomás Chávez Morado

Tomás Chávez Morado was an artist from Silao, Guanajuato, Mexico. He taught at public schools, the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes y Literatura, and the Escuela de Artes Plásticas at the Universidad de Guanajuato, where he served as the director of the School of Visual Arts. His civic installations include El Paraguas and the national shield carving displayed at the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City as well as 260 monumental eagle head sculptures marking the route of Hidalgo the Liberator. Homenajea UG a Tomás Chávez Morado Con Exposición Plástica. University of Guanajuato, 9 Dec. 2014. Web. 02 Nov. 2015. <>.</ref> According to Mexican Life, Mexico's Monthly Review, the work of Chávez Morado "creates visions of typical life in the streets, images of people one might find in the markets, at the ferias or inside the tenement patios, with a thematic emphasis on love and the mother and child."

Alhóndiga (building)

An alhóndiga or almudí, almudín, alholí, public house or neighbors' market was formerly an establishment where grain was sold, bought and even stored, whose purpose was to help the neighbors and mainly the farmers in times of shortage.

Wells of Baján Place in Coahuila, Mexico

Wells of Baján are water wells located between Saltillo and Monclova in the northern Mexican state of Coahuila. The small community near the wells is called Acatita de Baján. In the first phase of the Mexican War of Independence, revolutionary leaders Miguel Hidalgo, Ignacio Allende, José Mariano Jiménez, and Juan Aldama, plus nearly 900 men in the rebel army were captured here on March 21, 1811 by 150 soldiers commanded by Ignacio Elizondo. Elizondo pretended to be a supporter of the struggle to overthrow Spanish rule, lured the rebels into a trap, and captured them with little resistance. The four leaders and many of their followers were tried and executed.


  1. "Museo Regional de Guanajuato (Alhondiga de Granaditas)". Conaculta (in Spanish). Instituto Nacional de Anthropologia e Historia. Retrieved 9 July 2015.
  2. 1 2 Bower, Doug; Bower, Cindi (2006). Guanajuato, Mexico: Your Expat, Study Abroad and Vacation Survival Manual in the Land of Frogs. Boca Raton, Florida: Universal Publishers. pp. viii–x. ISBN   1581129289.
  3. "Historic Town of Guanajuato and Adjacent Mines". World Heritage Center. UNESCO. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  4. 1 2 3 4 Pelaez, Luis Gordo (2013). "'A Palace for the Maize': The Granary of Granaditas in Guanajuato and Neoclassical Civic architecture in Colonial Mexico" (PDF). RACAR: Revue D'Art Canadienne / Canadian Art Review. 38 (2): 71–89. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  5. 1 2 "La Alhonidga de Granaditas". Mexico Deconocido (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 10 July 2015. Retrieved 9 July 2015.
  6. 1 2 3 4 Alaman, Lucas (2003). "The Siege of Guanajuato". In Joseph, Gilbert M.; Henderson, Timothy J. The Mexico Reader: History, Culture, Politics. Duke University Press. pp. 176–187. ISBN   9780822330424 . Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  7. 1 2 3 "Museo Regional de Guanajuato Alhóndiga de Granaditas". Lonely Planet. Retrieved 9 July 2015.
  8. "Museo Regional de Guanajuato Alhóndiga de Granaditas". Lonely Planet. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  9. Martin, Percy F. (1906). Mexico's Treasure-House (Guanajuato). New York: The Cheltenham Press. p. 22. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  10. "Guanajuato". History. A&E Television Networks, LLC. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  11. Baird, David; Bairstow, Lynne (2006). Frommer's Mexico 2007. Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley Publishing, Inc. p. 204. ISBN   9780471922421.
  12. 1 2 "Museo Regional de Guanajauto (Alhondiga de Granaditas)". Sistema de Informacion Cultural (in Spanish). 18 May 2015. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  13. "Museo Regional de Guanajuato Alhóndiga de Granaditas". Recursos Turisticos (in Spanish). Guanajuato: El Destino Cultural de Mexico. Retrieved 9 July 2015.
  14. "José Chávez Morado, el último muralista, es recordado en ocasión de su 103 aniversario". Secretaria de Educacion Publica (in Spanish). 3 January 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2015.

Coordinates: 21°01′08″N101°15′29″W / 21.01889°N 101.25806°W / 21.01889; -101.25806