The heartbreaking story behind El Callejon del Beso (the Alley of the Kiss), an enchanting narrow alleyway in the equally magical city of Guanajuato, is a Shakespearean tale of forbidden love and murder. Here’s how it goes…
The story of El Callejon del Beso
Ana was the daughter of a controlling Spaniard who was determined she marry a wealthy man. He was so single-minded in his plans for her that he would go to great lengths to stop her speaking to anyone he deemed too poor.
However, one day, as she strolled through the streets of Guanajuato, she met a handsome but humble miner named Carlos, and the pair instantly fell in love.
Going against her father’s wishes, Ana met with Carlos in secret.
However, after hearing rumors of the pair’s meet-ups, Ana’s father followed her and caught the pair together. Furious, the father threw Ana into her bedroom and locked the door, vowing to marry her to an old, rich nobleman from Spain.
Separated from his love, heartbroken Carlos went to visit Ana’s house. When he got there, he noticed Ana’s bedroom sat in a very narrow alleyway and, within touching distance, there was another home with a balcony facing her bedroom.
With renewed hope, Carlos went to the owner of the home and offered to purchase it. The owner refused, asking for more money. Carlos raised his offer, again the owner refused. Carlos raised his offer again, but the owner refused once more.
Starting to get a little irritated with Carlos’ persistence, the owner raised the praise so high that he thought Carlos would leave him alone.
However, Carlos accepted, gathering every last coin he had to pay the man.
Now the proud owner of a house within touching distance of Ana’s bedroom window he called to his love. The pair embraced and promised to see each other every night.
But one night, as the lovers were lost in a passionate kiss, Ana’s father entered her bedroom. Seeing his daughter in the arms of the humble miner, the father went into a violent frenzy, picking up a dagger and plunging it into his daughter’s chest, killing her.
Some say that, in his desperation to protect his love, Carlos attempted to jump from his window into Ana’s bedroom, but crashed to the floor, hitting the third step and breaking his neck.
Others say that, overcome with grief after seeing Ana’s lifeless body, he committed suicide in his place of work, La Valenciana Mine.
Visiting the Alley of the Kiss
Now, El Callejon del Beso is one of Guanajuato’s most famous tourist attractions. It’s said couples should stand on the third step (helpfully painted in red) and kiss to enjoy a lifetime of luck in love — which some say is delivered by the spirit of Carlos himself.
You can find the famous alley, which measures just 168cm (66 inches) wide, on the Cerro del Gallo hill, a gorgeous 18th century neighborhood of colonial architecture and winding cobblestone streets.
And, whether you choose to believe the story of Ana and Carlos or not, it’s undeniable that Guanajuato City has a romantic charm to it, found in few other places around the world.
From high up, you will see a collection of brightly colored buildings colored in cobalt blue, terracotta, baby pinks, and more. Perhaps its most eye-catching feature, however, is its iconic yellow church, Our Lady of Guanajuato Basilica.
Explore Guanajuato and El Callejon de Beso
For a comprehensive tour of this fabulous city, take Journey Mexico’s seven-day tour of Guanajuato and San Miguel. You will experience a complete immersion into both of these celebrated cities, enjoying museum tours, cooking lessons, and art explorations.
Alternatively, if you would prefer a personalized adventure, contact one of our expert Travel Advisors. Simply fill out our Trip Planner and a member of the Journey Mexico team will get back to you within 24 hours.
Main photo credit: Wiki Commons