Distinctive Homes In The Heart Of San Miguel

Parroquia of
San Miguel Arcangel

Patio of Bellas Artes

"El Chorro"

About San Miguel de Allende

The City of San Miguel de Allende and surrounding area have played a part in much of the arquitectural and political history of Mexico, from the pyramids at La Cañada de la Vírgen to the University which educated many of the heroes of the War of Independence of 1810. The remnants of the original townsite and its chapel remain just outside town at San Miguel Viejo. The current town was founded at “El Chorro”, an area near present day Juárez Park. The spring there provided San Miguel up until the latter half of the 20th century. It still serves as a folkloric hand laundry for many sanmiguelenses without water at home.

The Jardín has been the heart of the city of San Miguel since 1737. The church tower we know as the “Parroquia” which have been made so famous, was not constructed until 1880. Master builder Zeferino González, impressed by the gothic works of Europe and inspired by postcard images from various European cities, was commissioned to design and build this church. His postcards did not reveal that there was a nave under the towers and so this naveless tower became unique.

Many more buildings with much history - the Instituto Allende, The Bellas Artes, The Angela Peralta Theater, the Presidencia Palace, the Museo Allende, the Oratorio, are all here for the admiration and inquisitiveness of the visitor and resident alike.

The pace of another era, one only found now in Mexico’s non-urban centres, is still strictly upheld in San Miguel. The streets in the center are still cobblestoned preventing rapid traffic. Shops close and the town goes home for a leisurely lunch and nap from 2 til 4 every afternoon. Bugambillae spills over walls which house surprising flower and fountain-filled patios - many of which house grand and small restaurants and hotels. Occasional burros make their leisurely way through the streets carrying their wares for sale. If you walk too quickly you will have to step up and down steep sidewalks in order to pass by the rest of us who enjoy a more relaxed rhythm.

Groups of intellectuals and artists meet over a cup of coffee or a glass of wine or a poetry reading in the gardens and magnificent buildings daily. Artesans from all over Mexico bring their wares here to San Miguel. The best in talavera ceramic ware, glass and brass, hand-painted lacquer items, textiles, clothing - traditional or modern in design, antiques and contemporary art items can be found here for taking back or taking home.

San Miguel de Allende is a piece of the past which permanently resides in the present. Be careful how long you stay or like the rest of us you may never want to leave.

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Copyright©2010 Michael Cleary. All rights reserved.