Bedrock

12 Mar

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In the bedrock below Guanajuato, there is a place that embodies the history of the land under the city.060

The Dieguno Museum, is an ex-convent under the Temple of San Diego in the center of Guanajuato. The 450-year old structure remains underground, just above the level of the stone tunnels that carry traffic through the city.057

In 1780 a disastrous flood decimated the basin of the valley sheltering Guanajuato. The damage from the water was so severe the Dieguno Convent was closed and the nuns dispersed. Two hundred years passed. The church and cloister remained below water level. Then an innovative and successful plan created a canal of thick stone walls to contain the powerful river running through and under the town. As a result the damaged cloister now sat above the riverbed and could be restored.

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The church was rebuilt, this time seven or eight “varas” above its original level. The sacristy, facade, roof and dome were recreated. Today the Temple of San Diego of Alcala, a vibrant place of daily worship, stands at the head of the main plaza in Guanajuato.

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And over 200 years later, the building restoration continues. Two of the five chapels in the church and cloister were saved and are part of the restoration project.

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The rest of the original convent is buried under the buildings in Guanajuato’s city center. 055

In the restored convent, there is one raw space topped with a glass pavilion open to street level. It is here that people can peer down through the glass and into the bedrock of Guanajuato’s history.

2 Responses to “Bedrock”

  1. Barbara and Ernie Werren March 13, 2015 at 1:40 am #

    REally enjoy your blogs – this is one thing we didn’t have time to see…will have to go back to Guanajuato! The more we think about that lovely city, the more we want to return! Hope we can connect in Santa Fe when we go down for the opera…
    Barb and Ernie
    Jill, ¿como va tus clases de español? ¡Saludos a Juan Carlos, Hayde, y todo!

  2. Ursula March 12, 2015 at 7:14 pm #

    Very interesting!

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