Officially named Dolores Hidalgo Cuna de la Independencia Nacional (which translates to Dolores Hidalgo, the cradle of national independence), the city is named for the iconic rebel priest who incited a rebellion against the Spanish after giving an impassioned speech on the steps of the church.
The priest, Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, set off a chain of events that would eventually lead to Mexican independence, although the Spanish wouldn’t recognize it for at least another decade (and only after many bloody battles).
You can visit the church where Mexican independence began, several local museums, and the curious tomb and museum dedicated to Mexican ranchera singer Jose Alfredo Jimenez.
Getting here: Dolores Hidalgo is just 40 minutes north of San Miguel de Allende. You can join a Ruta de la Independencia tour, which takes in other key sights on the Independence Route in the state. There are also direct public buses running throughout the day.
Of all the 46 municipalities in the state of Guanajuato, this is perhaps the one which witnessed the largest amount of dreams and struggles, ever since the days it was known as “Cocomacán”, meaning “place where turtle doves are hunted”; to the conquest and declaration of the nation’s autonomy, until it was finally established as the epicenter for the dawning of the Mexico we know today.
The first stone of the Iglesia de Dolores (Dolores Church), a site which would subsequently play a leading role, was laid a whole century before the cry of Independence was uttered. It took almost 70 years to build, which was perhaps a foreshadow to its future importance as an example of Baroque architecture, and above all as a heroic setting.
Gastronomy that enriches your palate Although it seems like nothing is really happening in the streets and surroundings, there’s in fact a lot going on. To the delight of tourists, dishes and ingredients such as mole and avocado have been turned into ice cream sold in the Plaza Principal (Main Square), where a weekend atmosphere breathes every day.
Students sit on the benches to go over their notes, while the smell of pork rind in salsa roja (red sauce) revives the appetite of even those who have only just eaten. With as many museums as restaurants and cantinas, this Pueblo Mágico has it all; your only dilemma will be deciding where to start.
If you’re looking for a place to rest, Dolores Hidalgo offers hotels packed with history, such as the Posada Cocomacán, which hosted Benito Juárez when he returned from the north of the country.
It takes 45 minutes to get there by car from San Miguel de Allende (28 miles/45km), whereas if you’re coming from Guanajuato capital city, the journey will take you an hour (37miles/60km). From Mexico city (Mexico City) however, it will take you 4 hours and 15 minutes to get there (199 miles/320km).”
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