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Irapuato

(3.3/5 based on 100+ reviews for 3 attractions)
Things to do: shopping, nightlife
Irapuato is a Mexican city (and municipality) located at the foot of the Arandas mountain (in Spanish: cerro de Arandas), in the south central region of the state of Guanajuato. It lies between the Silao River and the Guanajuato River, a tributary of the Lerma River, at 1,724 m (5,656 ft) above sea level. It is located at. The city is the second-largest in the state (only behind León), with a population of 342,561 according to the 2005 census, while its municipality has a population of 463,103. The municipality has an area of 845.16 km² (326.32 sq mi) and includes numerous smaller outlying communities. The city's main industry is agriculture and it is famous for its strawberries and the raising of pigs and cattle. The fruits and flowers of Irapuato's luxurious gardens are well known throughout Mexico.HistoryPrehispanic eraIn the pre-Hispanic era, the site was inhabited by the Chichimecas (c. 1200 AD), a group of semi-nomadic hunter-gatherers. Later on, the Purépechas conquered the region and initiated the establishment of a permanent settlement. They constructed buildings in the Purépecha architectural style, produced pottery, and practiced agriculture. They called the settlement Xiriquitzio (or Iriquitzio), which the Spanish conquerors pronounced "Jiricuato" (or Jiricuicho), which meant "the place with houses (or low dwellings)". The initial growth period, however, was short lived. The downfall of the Purépecha Empire led to the abandonment of the settlement, at which point it was once again inhabited by the Chichimecas.
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