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The alhóndiga was the public granary in Spanish colonial towns. The term continued in use during the national period in many places. One of the most famous was the Alhóndiga of Guanajuato, Mexico, a massive, fortress-like structure erected in 1798–1809 by Intendant Juan Antonio Riaño to store sufficient grain to supply the city for a year. When Riaño received word that the rebel forces of Father Miguel Hidalgo were approaching the city, he ordered the granary prepared for a lengthy siege. Gathering coin, silver bars, and other valuables, the royalists became the target not only for the rebel forces but also for the plebeians of the city. On September 28, 1810, Riaño was killed in the first assault; the rebels overwhelmed the defenses, sacked the building, and massacred about 300 European Spaniards, creoles, and royalist militiamen. In 1811, following the executions of the rebel leaders Hidalgo, Ignacio Allende, Juan Aldama, and Mariano Jiménez, their heads were placed on display in iron cages on the corners of the Alhóndiga, where they remained until Mexican independence in 1821.

See alsoAldama y González, Juan de; Allende, Ignacio; Hidalgo y Costilla, Miguel; Riaño y Bárcena, Juan Antonio.


Alamán, Lucas. Historia de Méjico desde los primeros movi-mientos que prepararon su independencia en el año de 1808, hasta la época presente, 5 vols. Mexico City: Editorial Jus, 1942 (1849–1852).

Bustamante, Carlos María de. Cuadro histórico de la Revolución Mexicana, inciada el 15 de septiembre de 1810 por el c. Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, cura del pueblo de Dolores en el obispado de Michoacán. 3 vols. Mexico City: Edicions de la Comisión Nacional para la Celebración del Sesquicentenario de la Proclamación de la Independencia Nacional y del Cincuentenario de la Revolución Mexicana, 1961.

Hamill, Hugh M. The Hidalgo Revolt: Prelude to Mexican Independence. Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 1966.

                                             Christon I. Archer

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