Page:Appleton's Guide to Mexico.djvu/296

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pels the owners of haciendas de beneficios to send their silver to the mint. If the owner wishes to export the bullion, he must first obtain a certificate from the director of the establishment.
N. B. — A picture of the patio process may be found on p. 198.

The peons are searched, when leaving the silver-works, at the end of the day's work, as fragments of the precious metal are often concealed in their hair and clothing. (See p. 81.)

The prison, or carcel, is worthy of a visit. It occupies an eminence in the heart of the city, near the causeway (calzada), and was formerly a castle. It was also the last stronghold of the Spaniards in Guanajuato during the great revolution. The castle was defended with fire-arms, while the Mexicans had merely primitive weapons, such as clubs, knives, missiles, etc. Finding the fortress impregnable, the latter approached the gate on all-fours, with flat stones on their backs to serve as armor, and set fire to it. The Spanish oppressors surrendered, and the natives decapitated four of the leaders, and hung their heads in the corners of the court-yard of the castle.

The prison is a two-storied building, about 150 feet long and 75 feet wide. The inmates work at various trades.

The traveler should ascend the Cerro de San Miguel, which lies south of the mint, and about twenty minutes' walk from the plaza, to obtain a correct idea of the location of Guanajuato. It will be seen that the city is built in a gorge, surrounded by rolling hills. The narrow streets are winding, and they have a cobble-stone pavement. The tourist is reminded of the towns in the Swiss Alps. Looking across the city, the observer has a fine view of the principal suburbs, the mines being chiefly on the northern and western sides of Guanajuato.

There are some foreigners living in the city. They are mostly French, although a few Germans, Spaniards, Englishmen, and Americans can be included in the number.