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Una Semana en San Miguel de Allende

Ever since I had gazed at photos in coffee table books and savored magazines that featured everything from fashion shoots to travel stories about the beautiful colonial city of San Miguel de Allende I promised myself I would get there one day. Finally in 2007 I went there for La Semana Santa and I wasn’t disappointed. San Miguel de Allende is located in the heartland of Mexico. It was founded by Fray Juan de San Miguel a Spanish Franciscan missionary in 1542 near a dry river about five miles from the current town. There is a legend that states that all of the dogs from the mission ran off one day and were found at a spring called Izcuinapan or El Chorro as it is known today. After this occurred, the mission was moved to this spot by Fray Bernardo Cossin. During the 16th and 17th centuries it grew as the Spanish began to settle there by establishing cattle ranches and farms. Silver was discovered in nearby Zacatecas and Guanajuato. The town was renamed San Miguel de Grande and it had become an important commercial center.

Ignacio de Allende y Unzaga was born in San Miguel in 1769. He became a firm believer for Mexican independence. He joined forces with Father Don Miguel Hidalgo who is known for his famous speech made on September 16, 1810 in what is known as Dolores Hidalgo today. They lead a revolt for independence but unfortunately the Spanish defeated them. They were both executed and their heads were hung in cages outside of a granary in Guanajuato. In 1826 the government of Guanajuato changed the name of San Miguel de Grande to San Miguel de Allende in honor of General Allende.

Today San Miguel Allende remains a glorious colonial city painted in rich rust tones, stone work, churrigueresque façades, bougambilia draped balconies, curvy cobblestone streets, a lively Jardín shaded with laurel trees with mariachis serenading the public during the evening, excellent dining, the beautiful pink stone La Parroquia church, the Instituto Allende, the Fábrica Aurora located in the old textile mill, the Escuela Bella Artes, antique stores and the serene Parque Juarez located below El Chorro where egrets can be seen flying from the top of the trees.

Another treat in the area is the Sanctuary of Atotonilco that is located seven miles north of San Miguel de Allende. It comes from the Italian word “place of hot waters". This important religious center is a historical shrine in Mexico. Father Alfaro built the church in 1740. It is dedicated to Jesus of Nazareth. The inside of the church has frescos painted on the walls and ceilings. There are six chapels with mounted statues on the walls. It took twenty-five years for the frescos to be painted. In 1810 Father Don Miguel Hidalgo picked up his banner of Our Lady of Guadalupe used in his march for independence at this site. Today Atotonilco remains an important religious site as it attracts thousands of pilgrims throughout the year. The United Nations has listed it as a World Heritage site.

One can’t help but being overwhelmed by the beauty of this area from the colorful flowering plants to the splendid colonial architecture. San Miguel de Allende is truly eye candy!
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Balloon Vendor on the Jardin
Balloon Vendor on the Jardin
Boy by fountain
Boy by fountain
Flower Vendor
Flower Vendor
Morning Walk
Morning Walk
Late Afternoon Walk
Late Afternoon Walk
Colonial Policeman on Horse
Colonial Policeman on Horse
Colonial Policeman
Colonial Policeman
Flower Market
Flower Market
Girl in Cadereyta
Girl in Cadereyta
The Pharmacy
The Pharmacy
Lady in white walking
Lady in white walking
Nun in doorway at La Concepción
Nun in doorway at La Concepción
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