city, south-central Guanajuato estado (state), north-central Mexico. It lies on the north bank of the Laja River in the fertile Bajio region of the Mexican Plateau, 5,774 feet (1,760 m) above sea level. Founded as Purisima Concepcion de Celaya in 1571, the city played an important role in 19th-century Mexican history when it changed hands several times during Mexico's struggle for independence from Spain. General Alvaro Obregon defeated Pancho Villa at Celaya in 1915. With irrigation waters from the upper Lerma River, Celaya has become an important agricultural and livestock-raising centre. Corn (maize), beans, wheat, and chick-peas (garbanzos) are the principal crops, and cattle, pigs, and goats are raised. Dairying and the manufacture of candy (notably its cajetas de Celaya, made of burnt sugar and milk) and textiles provide additional income. Lying approximately 30 miles (48 km) west of Queretaro and about 50 miles (80 km) southeast of Guanajuato city, the state capital, Celaya is a major railroad and highway junction
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