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Top 5 reasons to visit San Miguel de Allende

Learn about San Miguel de Allende

By The Home VlogPublished 3 years ago 5 min read
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History

The city was founded on October 3, 1542, by the friar Fray Juan de San Miguel who named the small-town San Miguel el Grande. At the time it was part of the Antiguo Camino real, which was a route connected to Zacatecas used to transport silver.

During the Mexican War of Independence Ignacio Allende, who was a native of San Miguel made the town stand out by fighting side to side with Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla during the first stage of the war. Later on, Allende was captured in Acatita de Baján Coahuila. After being judged, he was executed and beheaded in Chihuahua (June 26, 1811); his head was exhibited in a corner of the Alhóndiga de Granaditas in Guanajuato city alongside the heads of Miguel Hidalgo, Juan Aldama, and Mariano Jimenez. In 1826 after the War of Independence was over the town of San Miguel el Grande was recognized as a city and changed its name to San Miguel de Allende honoring a national hero; Ignacio Allende.

Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel

The Parroquia (Church) was built in 1555, a few years after the small town’s foundation. According to a document the Parroquia collapsed in 1649 after serious deterioration. Therefore, it was demolished. And a little later, architect Marco Antonio Sobrarias was given the task to lead the restoration, which ended in 1709. Sobrarias gave the Parroquia a new look by using a baroque style. For many years it was again the center of faith in the city, but eventually, it started to deteriorate again. Due to this, a bishop requested a new restoration to avoid another collapse in 1880. Indigenous stonemason Zeferino Gutierrez Muñoz was the one in charge of the new project. Gutierrez was inspired by the great architectural works of the Gothic style of Medieval Europe, specifically basing his work on a postal of the Cologne Cathedral in Germany. Using pink quarry extracted from the extinct volcano, Palo Huerfano, Gutierrez began his work. By adding pointed arches, niches with styled sculptures, and spiky columns the Parroquia went from a baroque to a neo-gothic style. Finally, after ten years of construction, the restoration was over in 1890.

Tourists often use the Parroquia as a point of reference to locate themselves in the city since it can be somewhat hard to navigate the entangled streets, especially if you are new to the city. With this in mind, you can picture how enormous and imposing the Parroquia is. But the Parroquia isn’t only about the looks of the outside, deep inside the Parroquia there is a crypt, where many Mexican war heroes have been laid to rest. As a matter of fact, if you are lucky enough you might even get a chance to visit the Parroquia’s crypt.

Fabrica La Aurora

The second reason to visit San Miguel de Allende is Fabrica La Aurora, which started as a textile industry, until 1991 when sponsor Don Francisco Garay teamed up with some American Artists to turn the textile industry into the new center of art and design of the city.

Fabrica La Aurora is open every day and everyone is welcome; entrance is free. Inside the establishment, you will find artists’ studios, contemporary art galleries, antiques, unique furniture, textiles, jewelry, and dresses. If any of the furniture or jewelry catches your attention you will have the option to buy them, as well as the contemporary arts and antiques. In Fabrica La Aurora visitors get the chance to watch artists’ work, but that’s not all, they also get the chance to test their artistic skill in the painting, drawing, and knitting workshops. Finally, after a long day of exploring Fabrica La Aurora, you can relax and enjoy a delicious meal in any of Fabrica’s restaurants or cafes.

El Jardin

The heart of San Miguel is located just in front of the Parroquia and it is our third reason to visit San Miguel de Allende. I’m talking about El Jardin, a place where you can seat on a bench and relax. And if you are lucky enough you will find mariachis playing live music. In fact, from time to time the city organizes events (small parties) in el Jardin, during these events there are fireworks, folkloric dances, live traditional music, and a lot of food. A lot of people gather when there are events and even on days that nothing special is going on in El Jardin people gather to hang out with friends, or many others use it as a place to relax. In addition, once you get done touring El Jardin you can visit the Parroquia and watch its religious artwork from the inside or you can admire its magnificent structure from the outside. Another option is visiting La Santa Escuela de Cristo, which was built in the 18th century with a baroque style. At the end of the day, you can buy dinner from one of the street vendors (street vendors are better for snacks) or you can visit a café next to El Jardin.

San Lucas vineyard

The fourth reason to visit San Miguel de Allende is San Lucas Vineyard, which has an area of 99 hectares, 72 of them were divided into plots, which are used for a unique real estate development. This offers San Lucas co-owners the opportunity to live within its facilities and enjoy all its benefits such as the vineyards, its horse-riding school, a polo field, a cafeteria, a tennis court, a paddle court, two restaurants, and a boutique hotel. On the other hand, visitors can enjoy some of the things listed above, for example, the hotel, the restaurants, the vineyards, and the polo field. In addition, visitors can also enjoy the spa, a yoga class, and a biking circuit. Important to mention, to be able to stay in one of the hotel’s rooms is recommended to book in advance.

La Cañada

Fifth and final reason to visit San Miguel de Allende is La Cañada de la Virgen, which is an archeological area. Between the years 600 and 900 A.D. this place was a pre-Hispanic settlement occupied by the Otomi. Otomi’s main monuments were used to make observations of the sky to later study those observations. Due to it they had advance astronomical knowledge, which they used to facilitate the control of time and productive cycles. Note that at this time, Otomis had to sow and harvest their own food, so being experts in astronomy really helped them choose the best time to do it.

Cañada de la Virgen is along with city of San Miguel a place full of history where you can learn not only about the city, but about Mexico’s endless history.

Things you might want to bring to San Miguel!!

  • Camera ($229)
  • Water Bottle ($11.99)
  • Sunscreen ($8.97; save $2.02)
  • Face Mask kn95 ($12.23; save $3.32)

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