The Info List - San Miguel De Allende

--- Advertisement ---

San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel de Allende
(Spanish pronunciation: [san mi'ɣel de a'ʎende]) is a city and municipality located in the far eastern part of the state of Guanajuato
in central Mexico. It is part of the macroregion of Bajío.[1] It is 274 km (170 mi) from Mexico City, 86 km (53 mi) from Queretaro, and 97 km (60 mi) from the state capital of Guanajuato.[2][dead link] Historically, the town is important as being the birthplace of Mexican General Ignacio Allende, whose surname was added to the town’s name in 1826, as well as the first municipality declared independent of Spanish rule by the nascent insurgent army during the Mexican War of Independence. San Miguel de Allende was also a critical epicenter during the historic Chichimeca War
Chichimeca War
(1540-1590) where the Chichimeca
Confederation defeated the Spanish Empire in the initial colonization war. Today, the town is a proclaimed World Heritage Site, attracting thousands of tourists and new residents from abroad every year. At the beginning of the 20th century, the town was in danger of becoming a ghost town after an influenza pandemic. Gradually, its Baroque/Neoclassical colonial structures were "discovered" by foreign artists who moved in and began art and cultural institutes such as the Instituto Allende
Instituto Allende
and the Escuela de Bellas Artes. This gave the town a reputation, attracting artists such as David Alfaro Siqueiros, who taught painting. This attracted foreign art students, especially former U.S. soldiers studying on the G.I. Bill
G.I. Bill
after the Second World War. Since then, the town has attracted a significant number of foreign retirees, artists, writers and tourists, which has shifted the area’s economy from agriculture and industry to commerce catering to outside visitors and residents. The main attraction of the town is its well-preserved historic center, filled with buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries. This and the nearby Sanctuary of Atotonilco
Sanctuary of Atotonilco
have been declared World Heritage Sites in 2008.


1 Founding of the city 2 Colonial period 3 Independence 4 20th century to the present 5 The historic center 6 Demographics 7 Landmarks 8 Culture

8.1 Foreign influence 8.2 Festivals 8.3 Arts and literature

9 Economy

9.1 Tourism and commerce 9.2 Agriculture 9.3 Industry

10 The municipality

10.1 Geography, ecology and climate

11 Landmarks in the municipality

11.1 Atotonilco 11.2 El Charco del Ingenio

12 International relations

12.1 Twin towns – Sister cities

13 References 14 Further reading 15 External links

Founding of the city[edit] The city was called Izcuinapan by the indigenous people. The city has since been known by various names since the Spanish settlements. The Spanish called it San Miguel el Grande and sometimes San Miguel de los Chichimecas. A Franciscan friar, Juan de San Miguel, was a Spanish missionary who converted the natives. The name of the town was changed in 1826 to San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel de Allende
in order to honor Ignacio Allende, a leader in the fight for independence of Mexico
who was born there. The surrounding municipality was officially called Allende. The county has a coat-of-arms that was designed by the well-known cultural group called Amigos de San Miguel.[2] Before the arrival of the Spanish in the early 16th century, San Miguel was an indigenous Chichimeca
village called Izcuinapan. Then a small chapel was built near Izcuinapan by Juan de San Miguel. He decided to dedicate the Spanish town to the Archangel Michael.[2][3] However, Spanish colonization and attempts to enslave women, men, and children to work the silver-rich mines quickly created a hostile environment with the Chichimeca
Confederation natives. The Chichimecas began defending invasion into their ancestral lands against Spanish Soldiers and colonizers and in 1551, the Guamare
people of the Chichimeca
Confederation attacked Spanish military posts and settlements in response to the tyrannical Spanish. This and continuous failed attempts by the Spanish to provide water to their own settlements in the area caused the original location to be pushed out.[3] The village was officially re-established in 1555 by Juan de San Miguel's successor, Bernardo Cossin and indigenous leader Fernando de Tapia. It was refounded both as a mission and as a military outpost. The new site was just northwest of the old one at a place with two fresh water springs (called Batan and Izcuinapan) and with terrain better suited for defense. The two springs supplied all of the town's water until the 1970s.[4]. Colonial period[edit]

The House of the Counts of the Canal, built in the 18th century and currently owned by Banamex.

By the mid 16th century, silver had been discovered not only in Guanajuato, but also in Zacatecas
and a major road between this area and Mexico
City passed through San Miguel. Indigenous attacks on caravans continued and San Miguel became an important military and commercial site. To quell these attacks as well as rebellions against Spanish colonization.[5] This led to the long-running and historic Chichimeca
War. The viceroy in Mexico
City granted lands and cattle to a number of Spanish to have them settle the area. He also gave indigenous groups limited self rule and excused them from taxation.[2][5] The location of the town would make it a melting pot as Spanish, indigenous peoples, and later Criollos exchanged cultural influences.[6] Eventually, major roads would connect the town with the mining communities in San Luis Potosí
San Luis Potosí
as well as Zacatecas
and the rest of the state of Guanajuato. Serving travelers' needs and providing supplies to mining camps made the town rich. One particular industry was textiles. Locals claim that the serape was invented here.[4] By the mid 18th century the city reached its height, when most of its large mansions, palaces and religious buildings were constructed. Most still remain.[3][7] The town was also home to the area's wealthy hacienda owners. At that time, it was one of the most important and prosperous settlements in New Spain
New Spain
with a population reaching 30,000.[4] In comparison, in the mid 18th century Boston had a population of only 16,000 and New York 25,000.[8] The town's apogee came during the transition period between Baroque and Neoclassical architecture and many of the mansions and churches have both influences. Mansions are larger than normal for a settlement of this size.[6] Independence[edit]

Statues of Allende and Hidalgo in the municipal palace

The prominence of the city declined at the beginning of the 19th century, mostly due to the Mexican War of Independence. However, it played an important early role in this conflict. It is the birthplace of two significant protagonists, Ignacio Allende
Ignacio Allende
and Juan Aldama. Both were involved in a conspiracy against the colonial government in Mexico
City, along with Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla
Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla
and Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez. When this conspiracy was discovered, the warning to Hidalgo and Allende passed through this town and onto Dolores (Hidalgo) just to the north. This prompted Hidalgo's "Grito de Dolores" assembling the insurgent army on 15 and 16 September 1810. The new insurgent army first came to San Miguel, stopping at a religious sanctuary in Atotonilco just outside. Hidalgo took a standard bearing an image of the Virgin of Guadalupe from here to use as a symbol.[2] This standard is now in the Museo del Ejercito in Spain.[9] Then the army entered San Miguel proper, to name officers and to free prisoners in the local jail.[2][3] San Miguel is considered to be the first municipality to be freed from Spanish rule.[4] While there was no other military action in the area, economically the town waned as agriculture suffered and the population declined. This continued for most of the rest of the 19th century as the country was torn between Liberal and Conservative factions vying for power .[10][4] After the war, the town was declared a city by the state congress in 1826 and its name was modified to San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel de Allende
in honor of Ignacio Allende.[3] There was some economic recovery near the end of the 19th century during the rule of Porfirio Díaz. During this time, dams, aqueducts and railroads were built. Agriculture made a comeback with the introduction of fruit orchards.[4] However, decline returned with the end of mining in almost all of the state of Guanajuato. Between this and the beginning of the Mexican Revolution, San Miguel almost became a ghost town.[10][11] What remained would stay frozen in time, as the new Mexican government, under the INAH, declared San Miguel a “Historic and Protected Town” in 1926, establishing guidelines and restrictions aimed at keeping its colonial appearance.[4][7] 20th century to the present[edit]

Angela Peralta
Angela Peralta
Theater, built in the early 20th century

American artist and writer Stirling Dickinson arrived in 1937 and should be credited with the first wave of advertising abroad about San Miguel´s virtues. Dickinson met Peruvian intellectual, author and painter, Felipe Cossio del Pomar who had the idea of establishing an art colony in the heart of Mexico. The first art school was established in 1938 in an old convent - still in use provisionally as a school, after having been soldiers´barracks - which Cossio del Pomar secured from then Mexican president Lazaro Cardenas, it was called Bellas Artes, today in existence and locally known as Bellas Artes or Centro Cultural El Nigromante. In the 1940s, Dickinson would also assist Cossio del Pomar and Enrique Fernández Martinez the former governor of the state of Guanajuato
to establish what became the Instituto Allende. Despite their rural location, both schools would find success after the Second World War. U.S. veterans studying under the G.I. Bill
G.I. Bill
were permitted to study abroad, and these schools took advantage, attracting former soldiers as students. Enrollment at the schools rose and this began the town's cultural reputation.[4] This attracted more artists and writers, including José Chávez Morado and David Alfaro Siqueiros, who taught painting at the Escuela de Bellas Artes.[10][12] This, in turn, spurred the opening of hotels, shops and restaurants to cater to the new visitors and residents.[4] Many of the American veterans who came to study in San Miguel would later come back to retire, some marrying and raising international families such as the Vidargas, Andre, Maxwell, and Breck families. The town's cultural, foreign and cosmopolitan nature has continued since that time. In the 1960s, Cantinflas
promoted the area among his friends in the film industry.[13] The city took on a Bohemian
quality starting in the 1950s with the party ambiance of many resident expats and artists. Hippies were taken in for haircuts by the authorities in the 1970s, and now is generally too expensive for the backpacking travelers of the 21st century. The growing attraction of the town and its colonial buildings created a vibrant real estate market, which until recently has not been affected by Mexico’s economic ups and downs. Many of the old "ruins" of colonial houses have sold for more than a house in Mexico
City.[10] The city and nearby sanctuary were declared a World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
met in Quebec, Canada in July 2008. It was chosen both for its well-preserved Baroque colonial architecture and layout as well as its role in the Mexican War of Independence. The area which has been inscribed includes 64 blocks of the historic center and the sanctuary of Atotonilco with the title of "Villa Protectora de San Miguel el Grande y el Santuario de Jesus Nazareno de Atotonilco."[14] The historic center[edit]

Hernandez Macias street in the historic center

At the entrance of the city are statues of Ignacio Allende, Juan Aldama, Miguel Hidalgo and Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez, with one of the Archangel Michael in the center.[15] While the outlying areas of the town and municipality have changed over time, the historic center remains much as it was 250 years ago. The layout of the center of the city is mostly a straight grid, which was favored by the Spanish during colonial times. However, due to the terrain, many roads are not straight. There are no parking meters, no traffic signals and no fast food restaurants.[4] These roads are lined with colonial era homes and churches. With a few exceptions, the architecture is domestic rather than monumental, with well-tended courtyards and rich architectural details.[16] The houses have solid walls against the sidewalks, painted in various colors, many with bougainvillea vines falling down the outside and the occasional iron-grated window. Many of the larger structures have large front doors which used to be used by horses and carriages.[4][17] In the historic center, there are an estimated two thousand doors, behind which there are at least two thousand courtyards of various sizes.[4] Many of these have been restored to their former colonial state,[8] with façades of ochre, orange and yellow, windows and doors framed by handcrafted ironwork and made of hewn wood.[18] The interior roofs are flat, of heavy mortar supported by large beams. Very few structures have atriums or front yards; instead, open private space is behind the main façade in courtyards. These courtyards are where the private gardens were, protected from dust, excess water and crime.[4] The town is noted for its streetscapes with narrow cobblestone lanes,[16] that rise and fall over the hilly terrain, and occasionally defy colonial attempts to make a straight grid.[4][12] It is still a small city, and at night, many wander the narrow streets with relative safety.[18] The people on the streets are a mix of Mexicans, foreigners and indigenous. Its cultural and artistic reputation has brought many people from Mexico
and abroad here to live.[19] Several publications have named it one of the top 10 places to retire.[17] The town has attracted famous people such as Jose Guadalupe Mojica, Pedro Vargas and Cantinflas
to have homes here.[18] Additionally, indigenous peoples, mostly Otomis and Nahuas (Chichimecas) can be seen on the streets, as they come to sell and buy from rural communities as well as to attend church.[12]

Gato Negro bar in the historic center

Since the 1920s, steps have been taken to preserve the historic center’s charm. The first set of protections was put into place by the INAH
when it was declared a national monument. This required that all restorations and new construction conform to the area's colonial architecture.[2][8] To preserve the city’s trademark colonial look, a civil society regulates the renovation and maintenance of the city, especially its historic center. This includes aspects such as traffic, garden spaces and even the kinds of social events that may be held. The town has also put much effort into preserving the cobblestone streets.[20] The most recent designation is that of a World Heritage site, along with the religious sanctuary in nearby Atotonilco, which also puts restrictions and protections into place.[21] About half of the colonial buildings have been partially or fully converted into businesses such as stores, restaurants, galleries, workshops and hotels. Since there is no zoning, residential and commercial establishments are well-mixed.[4] Although it is small and rural, it has a wide variety of upscale and ethnic restaurants, specialty shops and art galleries.[20] All around the historic center there are over 80 bars and cantinas as well as various nightclubs. To compete, many offer two-for-one drink specials.[18] Others rely on gimmicks such as the frontier themed bar on Mesones Street called “El Gato” with swinging cantina doors like those seen on “Old West” movies.[12] In September 2010, the first contemporary architectural structure arrived in the historic colonial center with the opening of Hotel Matilda. The hotel's four buildings have a modern design, with public areas decorated with the art works of contemporary Latin artists, many of them very large pieces. Only the exterior street wall, along Calle Aldama, reflects the colonial style. Demographics[edit]

View of calle Umaran in the downtown.

Despite being less than five percent of the total municipal population, foreign residents have considerable cultural and economic impact.[4] Most foreign residents are retirees from the United States, Canada and Europe attracted by the mild climate, cultural opportunities and low crime. It is only a ten-hour drive to the U.S. border.[17][22] Many of the home buyers are from this segment of the population as well. Estimates of foreign residents range from 5,000 to 8,000 with at least half of these from the United States. The large foreign presence has established a number of institutions here. The most noted one is the Biblioteca Publica, which has the second largest English language book collection in Mexico, located in the former convent of Santa Ana. It acts as the community center for foreigners.[20] There is also a chapter of the Lion's Club (est. 1987). A post of The American Legion and The Veterans of Foreign Wars is located there ,[23] and Mexico's only Audubon Society chapter.[24] While the town and municipality have grown since the coming of foreigners in the 1940s, the highest rates of growth occurred between 1980 and 2000, rising from 77,624 to 110,692, or about 43%. However, since that time growth has slowed and as of the 2005 census, the population stood at 139,297. Most of the drop has been due to the fall in birthrates. However, the overall population of the municipality is young: about 40% is under the age of 15, with those between 15 and 64 making up about 54% of the population. The majority of the municipality lives in the town of San Miguel proper, which has a population of 59,691. The next three largest towns are under 3,000 people: Los Rodriguez (2,768,) Colonia San Luis Rey (1,850) and Corral de Piedras de Arriba (1,701). Most of the municipality's population is located in rural areas in communities that do not exceed 2,500 people. About 46% is considered to live in an urban environment in the city of San Miguel.[2] Outside of the main town and in these smaller communities are the municipality's indigenous groups, mostly Otomi and Nahuas. The Otomi are the largest group, accounting for just under 38% of the municipal population. The Nahuas follow at about 20%. Other groups include the Mazahua, Huasteca
and Purépecha. However, according to the 2005 Census, only 355 people speak an indigenous language.[2] Ninety six percent of the population professes the Catholic faith, with the rest divided among Protestant and Evangelical groups.[2] The municipality is home to three institutions of higher education, Instituto Tecnologico SSC, a campus of the Universidad de León, and Universidad Tecnologica de San Miguel de Allende. The city also has bilingual schools with accordance to the American educational system. As of 2000, 17.5% of the population is considered to be illiterate, compared to 12.1% for the rest of the state.[2] Landmarks[edit]

Parish church of San Miguel

The oldest part of the town is the El Chorro neighborhood. This is where the village of San Miguel was moved to in 1555. The Nahuatl name for the area was Izcuinapan or “place of dogs,” and according to legend, dogs led Juan de San Miguel to this area to find this spring. This area is the home of the Parish of San Miguel, the Jardin Principal or Main Garden and an earlier church called the San Rafael or Santa Escuela Church.[25][26] La Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel, the current parish church of San Miguel, is unique in Mexico
and the emblem of the town.[16] It has a Neo-gothic façade with two tall towers that can be seen from most parts of town. It is one of the most photographed churches in Mexico.[26] The church was built in the 17th century with a traditional Mexican façade. The current Gothic façade was constructed in 1880 by Zeferino Gutierrez, who was an indigenous bricklayer and self-taught architect. It is said Gutierrez's inspiration came from postcards and lithographs of Gothic churches in Europe; however, the interpretation is his own and if more a work of imagination than a faithful reconstruction.[2] In front of this façade is a small atrium, which is guarded by a wrought iron fence. There is a monument in the atrium dedicated to Bishop José María de Jesús Diez de Sollano y Davalos.[2] The San Rafael or Santa Escuela Church is located to the side of the parish. It was founded by Luis Felipe Neri de Alfaro in 1742. The main façade has two levels with arches, pilasters, floral motifs and a frieze on the first level. The second level has a choir window framed by pink sandstone. The bell tower is Moorish.[2] According to legend, this older chapel was the site of the first Christian ceremony in San Miguel.[26] At the entrance of the main church, there is an inscription that states that Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla
Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla
and his brother Jose Joaquin served as priests here. There is another one acknowledging Gutierrez’s work on the façade.[25] The interior of the church still has the original 17th-century layout and interior design,[3] but the church was looted several times during Mexico's history so much of its decoration is lost.[16] However, one significant image here is the "Señor de la Conquista", which was made of cornstalk paste by indigenous people in Michoacán. The sacristy contains a painting depicting the founding of the town in 1542 and its subsequent move to Izcuinapan in the El Chorro neighborhood.(finsenana) There is a small crypt under the altar with access through a small door to the right.[16] This crypt contains the remains of former bishops of the church and other dignitaries, including a former president of Mexico. It is opened to the public one day each year, on November 2, Day of the Dead.[8] In front of the church complex is the Plaza
Allende, popularly known as Jardin Principal or Main Garden, but most often referred to simply as el jardin. It was designed in French style, with wrought iron benches and filled with Indian laurel trees.[18][26] It is a popular place to sit and relax and bands often play in the kiosk on weekends. In addition to the parish, other important structures, such as the Ignacio Allende
Ignacio Allende
House, the Canal House and the municipal palace overlook the garden.[25][26]

Courtyard of the Centro Cultural with the dome of the Church of the Nuns in the background.

The Centro Cultural Ignacio Ramirez, also called the Escuela de Bellas Artes or El Nigromante, is housed in the former Hermanas de la Concepción (Sisters of the Conception) convent.[16] The Concepcion convent and adjoining church were founded by a member of the De la Canal family,[10] María Josefina Lina de la Canal y Hervás in 1775.[3] In the latter 19th century, the convent was closed by the Reform Laws and it remained empty from then until the mid 20th century. The Escuela de Bellas Artes, was established in 1938 by Peruvian Felipe Cossío del Pomar and American Stirling Dickinson. This and other art institutions began to attract American exchange students who came to study and live. The cultural center today is part of the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes
Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes
(INBA) and is often referred to by locals as "Bellas Artes."[2] It is a two story cloister surrounded an extremely large courtyard with large streets with a large fountain in the middle. It houses art exhibits, classrooms for drawing, painting, sculpture, lithography, textiles, ceramics dramatic arts, ballet, regional dance, piano and guitar.[16] One hall of the old convent is dedicated to a mural by David Alfaro Siqueiros along with students from the art school, but it was never finished.[25] The complex has a museum, an auditorium, two art galleries and the Las Musas restaurant, which serves both inside and outside in the courtyard area.[16][26] Next to the cultural center is the Inmaculada Concepcion Church, locally known as Las Monjas (The Nuns). It was originally constructed as part of the convent. The church was constructed between 1755 and 1842 with an elegant cupola added by Zeferino Gutierrez in 1891, inspired by the Les Invalides
Les Invalides
in Paris.[26] The cupola is octagonal decorated with Corinthian columns in the lower area and the upper area has a window with a balustrade and statues of saints. Topping the cupola is a lantern window with a statue depicting the Immaculate Conception.[2] Inside, there are paintings by Juan Rodriguez Juarez.[25]

Corner of the Allende House with a statue of Ignacio Allende

The Casa de Allende (Allende House) Museum was the home of Ignacio Allende, who was a principal protagonist in the early part of the Mexican War of Independence. The structure was built in 1759 with Baroque and Neoclassical elements, located next to the San Miguel parish church.[26] The museum it houses is officially called the Museo Histórico de San Miguel de Allende, and it is one of many “regional museums” of Mexico. This kind of museum focuses on the history of the local area from the prehistoric period to the present, especially the area’s role in Mexico’s national history.[16] The lower floor contains exhibits about the founding of the town, its role in protecting the Camino Real de Tierra Adentro
Camino Real de Tierra Adentro
Road and more. The upper floor contains exhibits related to Ignacio Allende
Ignacio Allende
and some of the rooms are preserved as they looked when he lived there.[26] There are 24 rooms that chronicle the history of the area from the foundation of the town to the Ruta de la Plata (Silver Route), the genealogy of Ignacio Allende
Ignacio Allende
and the Mexican War of Independence. It remodeled as part of the preparations for Mexico's Bicentennial. The restored museum was re-inaugurated by President Felipe Calderon in 2009.[27] The Casa del Mayorazgo de la Canal dates from the 18th century, constructed by Mariano Loreto de la Canal y Landeta.[2] During the late colonial period, this house was the most important secular building, being home to the De la Canal family, one of the richest in New Spain.[18][25] The original construction was inspired by French and Italian palaces of between the 16th and 18th centuries. The house is considered to be a transitional work between Baroque and Neoclassical,[10] as its façade was redesigned by Manuel Tolsá in the early 19th century.[2] The façade is Neoclassical with the coat of arms of the family. The main portal has two levels with an arch with a relief of an eagle on the keystone. The main door is profusely decorated with high reliefs.[2] Today, it houses the Casa de Cultura de Banamex
( Banamex
Cultural Center) which houses a collection of historic paintings and offers diverse expositions during the year.[19][26] On the north side of the Jardin Principal is the municipal palace. It was first constructed in 1736 and called the Casa Consistorial. However, this building was heavily damaged several times since then and little of the original structure remains. The current building has two floors. It is home to what is considered to be the first “independent” or modern municipal government formed after the beginning of the Mexican War of Independence. This reestablishment of the city government under Liberal principles was done by Miguel Hidalgo, Ignacio Allende
Ignacio Allende
and Ignacio Aldama on 17 September 1810.[2][26]

Main portal of the Nuestra Señora de la Salud Church

The Oratorio de San Felipe Neri Church was built by Juan Antonio Perez Espinosa in 1712. This church was partially built by incorporating a former chapel used by the mulatto population of the town. That church became the chapel on the east side.[26] The façade is of pink sandstone in Baroque style with profuse vegetative ornamentation.[2] The decorative work of the portal also contains indigenous influences.[5] The interior of the church has a number of paintings by Miguel Cabrera, including one of the Virgin of Guadalupe which is signed by him. The sacristy contains this last painting along with others depicting the life of Philip Neri. This room is cordoned off by a grate covered with leather from Córdoba, Spain.[2] At the back there is a Baroque chamber/chapel dedicated to the Virgin of Loreto. This chapel was sponsored by Manuel Tomás de la Canal in 1735. It is richly decorated with three altars covered in gold leaf and is a replica of the Holy House found in Loreto, Italy.[3][26] The Nuestra Señora de la Salud Church was built by Luis Felipe Neri in the 18th century. The main portal is in Churrigueresque
style with two levels and a crest in the shape of a large seashell.[2][10] The first level has an arch flanked by pilasters and niches with sculptures of the Sacred Heart
Sacred Heart
and John the Evangelist. The interior has a layout of a Latin cross covered with vaults with side walls covered in oil paintings done by Agapito Ping between 1721 and 1785.[2] One altar contains an image of Christ, the Good Shepherd, defending his sheep from various dangers including a group of unicorns.[25] The church served as the chapel of the Colegio de San Francisco de Sales next door.[26] The Colegio de San Francisco de Sales was as important as the college of San Ildefonso in Mexico
City in the 18th century.[10] Both Ignacio Aldama and Ignacio Allende attended school here.[26] Very close to the Nuestra Señora de la Salud and Oratorios de San Felipe Neri churches is the Plaza
Civica or Civic Plaza. This plaza was originally constructed in 1555 and was supposed to be the original center of the town. It is next to the Plaza
de la Soledad and served as the main marketplace. Today, it has a equestrian statue of Ignacio Allende which dominates it.[26]

Church in San Miguel de Allende.

The San Francisco Church was begun in 1778 and was finished more than twenty years later, when architectural styles were changing. The façade is pure Churrigueresque
with stone figures and fine columns. The later bell tower was constructed in 1799 in Neoclassical style by architect Francisco Eduardo Tresguerras.[26] The Biblioteca Pública or Public Library serves as the community center for San Miguel's large foreigner population. This library was established by Helen Wale, a Canadian, who wanted to reach out to local children. It is the largest privately funded, publicly accessible library in Mexico
with the second largest English language book collection. The library has a café, sponsors tours and prints a bilingual newspaper. While self supporting, it also sponsors educational programs for local youth including scholarships, donations of school supplies and free English and computer classes for children.[28] The library offers free English classes for children and the "Club de Amigos" so that Mexicans and foreigners can know one another.[7] To the far south of the historic center is Parque Juárez or Juarez Park. This park was established at the beginning of the 20th century on the banks of a river in French style with fountains, decorative pools, wrought iron benches, old bridges and footpaths. There is an area for children with playground and basketball. The garden area is filled with plants and trees of the region, chirimoyos, various berries and walnuts. The water areas host a large number of herons.[25][26] After dark on many days, it is possible to catch a impromptu concert by local amateur musicians.[21] Nearby there is a small commercial center on Zacateros Street where typical of the area such as objects made of brass and glass can be found. Near here there is a fountain dedicated to Ignacio Allende.[25]

Entrance to the Mercado de Artesanias

Another important market is the Mercado de Artesanias, which sells a wide variety of items such as those made from wool, brass, paper mache and blown glass. There are also piñatas, tin lanterns, silver jewelry and more. One figure that features prominently on merchandise is that of a frog, as the state's name of Guanajuato
means "place of frogs". The market is located in a narrow alley filling three blocks behind the city's main fruit and vegetable market. The merchandise here is more authentic and cheaper than that found around the main square.[18][21][26] The Institute Allende is located in an enormous complex, which the De la Canal family built as a retreat and hacienda. The old house is filled with various courtyards, a private chapel with colonial era frescos, modern art gallery and restaurant. In 1951, it was converted into an art institute which offers courses in silverwork, ceramic and Spanish, attracting hundreds of students each year.[26] Other important churches in the town include the Santo Domingo church, the Santa Cruz del Chorro Chapel, Tercera Orden Church and the San Juan de Dios Church. The Santo Domingo church was part of a monastery complex. The church has a sober façade and dates from 1737.[3][5] The Santa Cruz del Chorro Chapel is one of the oldest religious buildings.[5] The Tercera Orden Church dates from the beginning of the 17th century.[3] The San Juan de Dios Church is and San Rafael Hospital are attributed to Juan Manuel de Villegas in 1770. The complex has a main portal in sandstone with two portals. The first has an access arch and a door made of mesquite wood, with reliefs of geometric shapes, fish and more, along with a hand with pomegranate in sandstone. These symbolize the Archangel Raphael
Archangel Raphael
and John of God.[2] Recent research establishes the founding of San Juan de Dios comlex in 1546 per maps from the Royal Library in Seville, Spain. These maps were brought to Mexico
and San Miguel de Allende´s exhibition at the Centro Cultural Los Arcos. The maps were made hundreds of years ago and stored in Spain since at the time the cartographers of the king did not understand the native Mexican mapmaking methods. The Royal Road is clearly the theme in the maps, San Juan de Dios is its port-of-entry into San Miguel de Allende. The Casa de Inquisidor (Inquisitor’s House) is located between Hernandez Macias and Hospicio streets. It was built in 1780 with an elaborate French façade and was the seat of the inquisition in the late 18th century.[3][19] The Angela Peralta
Angela Peralta
Theater was originally designed to host opera. It was inaugurated in 1873 with a performance by the most famous soprano of Mexico
at that time, Angela Peralta. Today, it still hosts a variety of musical events such as the Jazz Festival and the Chamber Music Festival.[26] Other cultural venues include the Otra Cara de Mexico, the bullring, the old train station now restored with a native market on Sundays, the casa de Marqués de Jaral de Berrio, the Casa de los Condes de Loja and the Museo de la Esquina - for traditional toys with a collection that comes from all parts of the Mexican Republic, which was gathered over 50 years' time.- and Museo Interactiveo Fragua de la Independencia. La Otra Cara de Mexico
(The Other Face of Mexico) is a small private museum sponsored by Bill Levasseuro, which has a large number of masks from Mexico's traditional cultures.[16] On Calle de Recreo is the bullring that was constructed at the end of the 19th century.[25] The old train station was part of the Mexico
City – Laredo (Tamaulipas) line of the Ferrocarril Nacional Mexicano. This line was constructed in the 1880s with service beginning in 1888.[29] The Casa del Marqués de Jaral de Berrio was constructed at the end of the 17th century as well as the Casa de los Condes de Loja.[3]. The Museo Interactivo Fragua de la Independencia (Fire of Independence Interactive Museum) is dedicated to the Mexican War of Independence and San Miguel's role in it.[26] Culture[edit]

Entrance to a crafts store in the historic center of the town

Foreign influence[edit]

" Stirling Dickinson is without doubt the person most responsible for San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel de Allende
becoming an international art center," says John Virtue, author of Model American Abroad, a biography of Dickinson. Although only an amateur painter himself, Dickinson became co-founder and director of the Escuela Universitaria de Bellas Artes, an art institute that he opened in a former convent only a few months after his arrival.[30]

Due to its growth as a tourist destination, some of the most obvious culture seen on the streets of the town relates to visitors, both foreign and Mexican. To cater to these visitors, the town contains organic cafes, boutiques, art galleries, upscale restaurants and hotels, and a wide variety of bars and nightclubs.[21][31] Bars and nightclubs range from DJs or loud bands catering to young people, to jazz clubs, sports bars and even those that specialize in traditional Mexican music such as mariachi. Some were founded by foreigners and reflect that ownership, for example the Berlin Bar & Bistro.[21][32] Shops around the Jardin Principal sell art, handcrafts, furniture and decorative items. The Fabrica La Aurora is an old textile mill that has been converted into galleries and shops selling art, furnishings and antiques; it has a lot of open space along with a café and restaurant.[16] San Miguel has several schools for learning Spanish, most catering to foreign visitors. These include the Instituto Allende
Instituto Allende
(with credits transferable to U.S. or Canadian colleges), Language Point and Warren Hardy Spanish.[16] Some universities such as the University of Texas-Pan American
University of Texas-Pan American
offer study abroad programs in the city, not only in Spanish but also in arts and literature, and creative writing.[33] Festivals[edit]

Youths with bulls at the Sanmiguelada

Fiesta de San Miguel Arcángel.

Many of the festivals here are purely Mexican, combining social activity with religious expression. Throughout the year there are pilgrimages, all-night vigils, ringing church bells, processions and fireworks.[20] The largest celebration of the year is that of the town's patron saint, the Archangel Michael. The angel's feast day is 29 September, but festivities take place for an entire week. Activities include private parties, sporting events, cultural events, indigenous dance and more. The week is popularly called the Fiestas de San Miguel de Allende. The finale is a procession of the actual image of St. Michael usually high on the main altar of La Paroquia, and he is taken on a flower-covered dais to "visit" the main churches in the historic district. Fireworks are a part of all festivities. Elaborate structures that spin and light in sequence which are called "castillos" - castles - are installed in the esplanade at the Jardín, and sometimes at other churches in town. Holy Week
Holy Week
begins with a exhibition of altars dedicated to the Virgin of Sorrows and end with the Procession of Silence.[19] Prior to the Procession of Silence, there is a reenactment of the judgment of Jesus by Pontius Pilate, on one side of the San Miguel Parish. Then the procession begins, which represents the fourteen scenes of the Passion before his crucifixion. Many of the townspeople participate in the event, with children dressed as angels and adults in period clothing carrying statues of Jesus. The procession winds its way along the main streets of the historic center completely in silence.[34] Another large religious celebration is the feast of Nuestro Señor de la Columna[35] There are also secular and cultural festivals during the year. The annual Festival de Música de Cámara or Chamber Music Festival occurs each year in August in the city's historic center. One of the purposes of the event is to bring this type of music to streets and other public venues as well as traditional concert halls such as the event's home of the Angela Peralta
Angela Peralta
Theater. The 2009 edition had over 100 singers invited to various events, three major conferences, and instrument exhibition and ten classes taught by prominent persons in the field. Some of the groups invited that year included Yale Glee Club, the Cuerdas Amernet Cuartet, the Alientos de Bellas Artes Trio, soprano Guadalupe Jimenez and pianist Natasha Tarasova .[36] Other events include the Jornada de Cultura Cubana in March, the Festival de Tìteres in April, the Festival de Convivencia y Hermandad Universal in May, the Desfile de Locos in June, the Festival Expresiones Cortos in July, the Feria Nacional de Lana y Latón and the festival de Jazz y Blues in November and the Festival de San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel de Allende
in December.[37] The most important political celebration is the reenactment of the "Grito de Dolores", as the original occurred in the nearby town of Dolores Hidalgo, marking the beginning of the Mexican War of Independence. As the birthplace of Ignacio Allende, the town was a focal point of 2010's Bicentennial celebrations, with reenactments of events such as the arrival of the message from Querétaro from Josefa Ortiz. Bicentennial celebrations also included events such as the Ballet Mazatl. Festivities were concentrated in and around the Jardin Principal, the Ignacio Allende
Ignacio Allende
House and the Centro Cultural.[35][38] SMART is a multi-media cultural festival, held annually in May, that combines exhibits by Mexican artists with a variety of culinary and social events at local hotels, including the festival founder Hotel Matilda, Dos Casas Hotel and L’Otel. Arts and literature[edit]

View of the room containing the unfinished Siqueiros mural

San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel de Allende
has long had a reputation as a haven for visual artists. Actually, San Miguel was the recipient of the most funding for the arts in the Spanish colonial period. Spain being the most powerful empire in the world at that time was very rich with the Guanajuato
mines supplying the majority of the world´s silver. The riches from the Guanajuato
and Zacatecas
mines had to go through San Miguel de Allende on the Camino Real, the Royal Road, via San Miguel de Allende. The city was full of rich arts patrons from the start in the 1500´s. Rich Spanish families like the Condes de la Canal paid for the sumptuous Chapel of Loreto and employed artists in all aspects including baroque music compositions. A fragment of that musical past is used in the Holy Week
Holy Week
music accompanying the celebration of mass around Easter. .Since the 1950s, when Diego Rivera
Diego Rivera
and David Alfaro Siqueiros
David Alfaro Siqueiros
worked there, it has attracted professional and amateur painters, sculptors and printmakers to the classes and workshops frequently held.[39] In addition to two major art institutions ( Instituto Allende
Instituto Allende
and Bellas Artes), artists and art venues can be seen in various parts of the town. On the streets, it is not unusual to see someone sketching people on the street or selling their own work.[39] Some notable ex-pat painters associated with San Miguel are Canadians Mai Onno, principal painting professor in the Bellas Artes founding school of the arts, Toller Cranston, Marion Perlet, Gary Slipper, and Andrew Osta.[40][41][42] More recently, the town has been attracting writers, film makers, and musicians. The town annually hosts an important free of charge film festival, the GIFF.[43] One annual event that caters to the writing community is The Writers’ Conference which brings together authors, editors and literary agents. The 2009 event attracted names such as Erica Jong, Todd Gitlen and Josephine Humphreys. Writers have lived here since the mid 20th century. Beat poet Neal Cassady
Neal Cassady
died on the railroad tracks just outside town. Other writers who have lived or spent time here include W.D. Snodgrass, Beverly Donofrio, Sandra Gulland, Tony Cohan, Joe Persico, Gary Jennings, Vance Packard, Lynette Seator, Richard Gabrio and Dianna Hutts. Some have written books about the town, such as Elisa Bernick who wrote The Family Sabbatical Handbook: The Budget Guide To Living Abroad With Your Family and Rue
who wrote "My Favorite Second Chance" (Book 2 of The Lake Effect Series). Another writing event is Poetry Week, which began in 1997.[39] Barbara Faith, a well-known author of romance books lived in San Miguel with her husband Alfonso Covarrubias. The biggest writers´conference in Latin America takes place in San Miguel annually, SMWC is celebrating its 14th anniversary in 2018. Economy[edit] Tourism and commerce[edit]

has a travel guide for San Miguel de Allende.

Much of the municipality's economy is now tied to the influx of tourists and foreigners who come to live, mostly retirees. A sister site Wikivoyage
has an entry for San Miguel de Allende. In 2002, 250,000 visitors spent about 8.4 million USD at the town's attractions, but those who live here contribute far more to the economy.[17] Most of this is concentrated in the town of San Miguel proper. It accounts for over 36% of the municipality's jobs and most of the municipality's income. Tourism accounts for almost all of the municipality's income from outside.[2] This began in the mid 20th century as a cheap place to live; however, despite recent economic downturns, it no longer is. This has not lessened San Miguel's attraction for foreign visitors and retirees as homes and hotels here are still significantly cheaper than in the U.S. or Europe.[11][17][31] Despite not having a casino or an airport and being 400 miles from the nearest beach, this small city has been ranked by magazines such as Time and Leisure and Condé Nast Traveler as one of its preferred places to live and visit.[4] Hotel occupancy typically reaches 80% on weekends with about 50% occupancy on weekdays, when rates can be about half. Most visitors are vacationers and about 60% are domestic visitors, interested in the town's history and role in the Mexican War of Independence. Another attraction for visitors are the two main art/cultural institutions of Instituto Allende
Instituto Allende
and Bellas Artes as well as a number of Spanish language schools.[31] Most domestic visitors come from Mexico's large urban centers like Mexico
City, Guadalajara, Monterrey and Querétaro. This growth has spurred the development of newer hotels, resort and vacation home developments, especially on the corridor between San Miguel and Atotonilco.[44] There are 149 hotels, nine of which are 5-star. The town has just over 9% of all hotel rooms in the state, and this percentage is growing. Another important sector is restaurants.[2] In 2006, the town invested 800,000 pesos to implement an online marketing plan to increase services to potential tourists. The town now has presence on Facebook
and Twitter.[44] Agriculture[edit]

Vineyards and vendimia celebration near San Miguel de Allende.

Outside of the town of San Miguel, the economy is more traditional. A bit over half of the land is used for grazing with 37% used for crops. Over 80% of the crops are grown during the rainy season with less than 20% grown on irrigated lands. Forestry is minimal. Agriculture produces 25% of the employment in the municipality. Principal crops include corn, beans, wheat, and alfalfa, which account for 84% of harvests. Another important agricultural activity is fruit orchards. The most important livestock is domestic fowl, especially poultry. The municipality raises over 12% of the state's chickens. Another important product is honey, of which the municipality provides 7.5% of the state’s total. Since the 1990s, there have been active reforestation efforts to replace much of what was lost previously to logging.[2] Industry[edit] Industry is not as well developed here as in other parts of the state although it provides about 33% of the jobs. One important industry is the production of electrical energy. Other industries include metal products, food processing, wood products and mineral processing.[2] The area is known for the crafting of objects from brass and glass. Two notable artisans here are the brothers Marcelino and Abeck Leon Rosa, who produce handmade glass items. They began producing pieces in the courtyard of their home, but today they have a studio with two large workshops and operate a school for glassmakers, which trains about 50 people per year. One of their specialties is Tiffany-style lamps.[19] Since at least the 1950s, San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel de Allende
is a backdrop for the production of films and television programs. Both Mexican and foreign productions and advertisements have been filmed there. Projects that have been filmed here include Once Upon a Time in Mexico, a television biopic of the Francisco "Pancho" Villa, and The Mask of Zorro II. A group of entrepreneurs is working to increase the town's reputation as a film location, opening a privately financed studio complex called The Film Colony. Recently, U.S. television series Royal Pains, Top Chef and Million Dollar Listing have filmed episodes in the town.[45] The municipality[edit]

Former Mayor of San Miguel de Allende, Luz María Núñez Flores (Spring 2012)

As the municipal seat, the town of San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel de Allende
is the local government for about 950 other communities, many of which have fewer than 50 people. As of 2005[update], the municipality had a total population of 139,297 with 62,034 living or about 44.5% living in the town proper. The largest communities outside of the municipal seat include Los Rodriguez (2,795 people), Corral de Piedras de Arriba (1,841 people) and Los Galvanes (1,402 people).[46] Officially, the municipality is called Allende to distinguish it from the town of San Miguel de Allende, but as they are governmentally the same unit, both are generally called by the town's name.[2] Geography, ecology and climate[edit] The municipality is located in the far eastern side of the state of Guanajuato. It has an average altitude of 1,870 meters above sea level. It borders the municipalities of San Luis de la Paz, Dolores Hidalgo, Salamanca, Juventino Rosas, Comonfort, Apaseo el Grande
Apaseo el Grande
and San José Iturbide
San José Iturbide
It has a territory of 1,537.19 km2.[2] The altitude varies from between 850 to 2,700 meters above sea level, with the town of San Miguel at 1910 masl. The municipality extends over two of the state's natural regions: the Sierras Volcanicas and the Cuencas Lacustres del Sur, with most of the territory over the latter. The entire municipality belongs to the national Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt. Most of the territory inclines gently from between zero and five percent, with some exceptions where inclines can be as high as 25%. This restricts urban development and agriculture in the area. Prominent elevations include Cerro La Silleta, Cerro Prieto, Cerro La Piena, Cerro La Campana, El Cerro de El Picacho, Tambula, El Maguey, Palo Colorado, Mesa el Peñón, Loma Cuacuato, Mesa la Junta, Loma La Trinidad, Cerro El Común, La Loma, El Cuache and El Carmen. These have an average altitude of 2,200 masl.[2] The main river in the area is the Laja, which crosses from north to south before finally emptying in the Lerma River in the municipality of Salamanca. The river currently has serious pollution issues because it is used for discharge of wastewater without prior treatment. Most of this discharge is from the residential areas of San Miguel and Dolores Hidalgo. In addition to the river, there are four principal arroyos that pass by the municipal seal, the La Cañadita, El Atascadero, Las Cachinches and El Obraje. The last receives most of the area’s runoff during the rainy season which feeds the Las Colonias and El Obraje dams. The most important dam in the area is the Ignacio Allende
Ignacio Allende
dam, located in the west of the municipality. While this dam controls flooding along the Laja River, local residents say that the water collected in its reservoir goes to the area around Guadalajara, far to the west of San Miguel, due to the provisions of the federal act creating the dam and reservoir. Other dams in the area include La Cantera and Bordo Grande located in the south and north of the municipality respectively along with the aforementioned Las Colonias and El Obraje, which are mostly used for irrigation. The municipality also has fresh water, thermal and alkaline springs, many of which are used as ecotourist attractions such as the El Chorro, Montecillo, El Cortijo, Cieneguita, Atotonilco and Taboada spas. One other spa is the El Xoté, which has sulfur-laden waters.[2] The climate in the area is mostly temperate and semi-arid, with average temperatures varying between 16 and 22 °C. Summers are moderately hot with a rainy season that generally producing sporadic thunderstorms. Winters are moderate. The temperature varies between 16 and 22 °C with cool winters. One exception to this is the extreme west of the municipality where the climate is wetter.[2][10][4] Ecosystems include shrublands, forests of oak, and areas where nopal cactus and/or grass dominate.[2]

San Miguel de Allende

Climate chart (explanation)


    14     23 6

    7.2     25 7

    6     29 10

    19     30 12

    42     31 14

    100     29 14

    129     27 14

    94     27 14

    94     26 14

    42     26 11

    13     25 8

    6.5     23 6

Average max. and min. temperatures in °C

totals in mm

Source: SMN[47]

Imperial conversion


    0.5     73 43

    0.3     77 45

    0.2     83 50

    0.7     86 54

    1.7     87 57

    3.9     84 58

    5.1     81 57

    3.7     81 57

    3.7     79 56

    1.6     78 52

    0.5     76 47

    0.3     74 44

Average max. and min. temperatures in °F

totals in inches

Climate data for San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel de Allende

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year

Record high °C (°F) 34.5 (94.1) 35.5 (95.9) 38.0 (100.4) 39.0 (102.2) 39.6 (103.3) 39.0 (102.2) 36.8 (98.2) 36.0 (96.8) 37.0 (98.6) 37.0 (98.6) 34.5 (94.1) 32.5 (90.5) 39.6 (103.3)

Average high °C (°F) 23.0 (73.4) 25.2 (77.4) 28.5 (83.3) 30.2 (86.4) 30.7 (87.3) 29.1 (84.4) 27.2 (81) 27.2 (81) 26.3 (79.3) 25.5 (77.9) 24.6 (76.3) 23.2 (73.8) 26.7 (80.1)

Daily mean °C (°F) 14.5 (58.1) 16.2 (61.2) 19.3 (66.7) 21.3 (70.3) 22.2 (72) 21.7 (71.1) 20.5 (68.9) 20.5 (68.9) 19.9 (67.8) 18.3 (64.9) 16.5 (61.7) 14.8 (58.6) 18.8 (65.8)

Average low °C (°F) 6.0 (42.8) 7.3 (45.1) 10.0 (50) 12.4 (54.3) 13.8 (56.8) 14.4 (57.9) 13.9 (57) 13.7 (56.7) 13.5 (56.3) 11.1 (52) 8.4 (47.1) 6.4 (43.5) 10.9 (51.6)

Record low °C (°F) −3.0 (26.6) −8.0 (17.6) −1.0 (30.2) 1.5 (34.7) 6.0 (42.8) 8.0 (46.4) 6.5 (43.7) 7.0 (44.6) 4.0 (39.2) −2.0 (28.4) −6.0 (21.2) −5.0 (23) −8.0 (17.6)

Average precipitation mm (inches) 13.7 (0.539) 7.2 (0.283) 6.0 (0.236) 18.9 (0.744) 42.2 (1.661) 100.1 (3.941) 128.7 (5.067) 94.4 (3.717) 94.2 (3.709) 41.5 (1.634) 12.7 (0.5) 6.5 (0.256) 566.1 (22.287)

Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 2.1 1.1 0.9 2.6 5.2 9.4 11.8 8.3 8.6 4.5 1.8 1.7 58.0

Source: Servicio Meteorologico Nacional[47]

Landmarks in the municipality[edit] Atotonilco[edit]

View of part of the ceiling inside the Sanctuary of Atotonilco

With only 597 people as of 2005[update], Atotonilco (formally Sanctuary of Atotonilco) is not the largest community in the municipality, but it is the best known due to its religious sanctuary, which has World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
status along with the historic center of San Miguel.[3] The sanctuary is located fourteen km outside of the main town and dates from the 18th century.[6] The church building itself has plain, very high walls on the outside,[3] and consists of one large church, with several smaller chapels.[6] It is officially called the "Santuario de Dios y de la Patria" (Sanctuary of God and Country),[18] but it is better known as the Sanctuary of Jesús Nazareno de Atotonilco.[6] It is the church from which Miguel Hidalgo took the Virgin of Guadalupe standard for his army.[3] The Atotonilco sanctuary has plain high fortress-like walls.[3][5] However, the inside is completely covered in murals with a large number of personages and scenes from the Bible without much overall structure in how these images were placed. All of the wall and ceiling space is completely covered with little empty space. This mural work was done by Miguel Antonio Martínez de Pocasangre over thirty years. The style of the painting imitates Flemish
painting which was known through Belgian
prints that the Spanish brought over from Europe.[3] The World Heritage Organization calls it an "exceptional example of the exchange between European and Latin American cultures" and "one of the finest examples of Baroque art
Baroque art
and architecture in the [sic] New Spain."[6] The structure and the mural work reflect the doctrine of Saint Ignatius of Loyola,[6] and the church has been called the " Sistine Chapel
Sistine Chapel
of America."[14] Atotonilco has been a pilgrimage site since the colonial period.[19] The complex still functions as a religious retreat for people who come from all over Mexico
for prayer, penance and mortification, but all are done in private.[16] El Charco del Ingenio[edit]

Wetland at the Presa Las Colonias, El Charco del Ingenio botanical garden

El Charco del Ingenio is located outside of the town is an ecological reserve and botanical garden which is privately funded. It is dedicated to the restoration and preservation of Mexican flora and propagates mainly cactus species in danger of extinction.[48] The reserve is centered on a canyon, at the bottom of which is a fresh spring which forms a natural pool. The canyon was the center of a number of myths and legends during the pre-Hispanic period.[49] There are the remains of a colonial era aqueduct and other waterworks on the property. This spring was so powerful it was the hydraulic power for an enormous water wheel and water supply to the city (thus, the name "Ingenio"). The water from this spring rose in the fountains throughout colonial San Miguel. An old dam which was part of this complex of hydraulic power became silted. A great flood ensued when the dam broke in 1999 during heavy rains. It is a stable wetland area now for the botanic gardens which has areas of the reserve are crisscrossed with walking paths. There are opportunities for mountain biking, rock climbing, bird watching, camping and horseback riding. There is a gift shop, a juice bar and a cafeteria.[48][49] International relations[edit] See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Mexico Twin towns – Sister cities[edit] San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel de Allende
is twinned with:

Ushuaia, Argentina Redlands, California, United States
United States
of America Acquaviva delle Fonti, Italy La Habra, California, United States
United States
Of America Tyler, Texas, United States[50] Laredo, Texas, United States St. Augustine, Florida, United States Santa Fe, New Mexico, United States West Palm Beach, Florida, United States


^ http://t21.com.mx/opinion/bitacora/2013/08/16/bajio-nuevo-milagro-mexicano ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai "Estado de Guanajuato
- Allende" [State of Guanajuato
- Allende]. Enciclopedia de los Municipios de México (in Spanish). Mexico: Instituto Nacional para el Federalismo y el Desarrollo Municipal. 2005. Retrieved October 20, 2010.  ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q "Historia" [History] (in Spanish). San Miguel Allende, Guanajuato: Municipality of San Miguel Allende. Archived from the original on February 13, 2010. Retrieved October 20, 2010.  ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r de Gast, Robert (2000). Behind the doors of San Miguel de Allende. Rohnert Park, California: Pomegranate Communications, Inc. pp. 1–9. Retrieved October 20, 2010.  ^ a b c d e f "San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato" (in Spanish). Mexico City: Mexico
Desconocido magazine. Retrieved February 24, 2010.  ^ a b c d e f g "Protective town of San Miguel and the Sanctuary of Jesús Nazareno de Atotonilco". United Nations: World Heritage Organization. Retrieved October 20, 2010.  ^ a b c "San Miguel de Allende: La Ciudad mas Antigua Del Bajio" [San Miguel de Allende: The oldest city of the Bajio]. El Norte (in Spanish). Monterrey, Mexico. August 18, 2000. p. 5.  ^ a b c d "The beautiful Mexican colonial city of San Miguel de Allende". MexConnect newsletter. February 4, 2007. Retrieved October 20, 2010.  ^ Marta Teran (February 24, 2002). "Un hallazgo histórico" [A historic find]. Reforma (in Spanish). Mexico
City. p. 2.  ^ a b c d e f g h i Maruja Gonz. "San Miguel de Allende, paradigma del encanto provinciano (Guanajuato)" (in Spanish). Mexico
City: Mexico Desconocido magazine. Archived from the original on November 13, 2010. Retrieved October 20, 2010.  ^ a b "Baja la venta de casas en San Miguel de Allende" [House sales fall in San Miguel de Allende]. El Informador. Guadalajara, Mexico. September 27, 2010.  ^ a b c d Florencia Podesta (May 2, 2004). "San Miguel de Allende: El encanto de la provincia" [San Miguel de Allende:The charm of the province]. El Norte (in Spanish). Monterrey, Mexico. p. 16.  ^ Mauricio Ramos (September 16, 2001). "Verbena en San Miguel de Allende" [Vervain in San Miguel Allende]. Reforma (in Spanish). Mexico City. p. 6.  ^ a b "Ingresa San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel de Allende
a lista de UNESCO" [San Miguel Allende enters UNESCO’s list]. El Universal (reprinted in the Office of the President website (in Spanish). Mexico
City. Notimex. July 7, 2008. Retrieved October 20, 2010.  ^ Ivett Rangel (October 2, 2005). "Festeja aniversario San Miguel" [Celebrate anniversary of San Miguel]. Reforma (in Spanish). Mexico City. p. 16.  ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Baird, David; Shane Christensen; Christine Delsol and JoyHepp (2010). Frommers Mexico
2011. Hoboken, New Jersey: Wilely Publishing, Inc. pp. 195–198. ISBN 978-0-470-61433-4. Retrieved October 20, 2010.  ^ a b c d e Jenalia Moreno (October 6, 2002). "Number of U.S. Retirees Heading to Mexico
Grows". Knight Ridder Tribune Business News. Washington. p. 1.  ^ a b c d e f g h "Nostalgia y fiesta en San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel de Allende
Rutas de México" [Nostalgia and party in San Miguel de Allende-Routes of Mexico]. El Financiero (in Spanish). Mexico
City. September 29, 2010. Retrieved October 20, 2010.  ^ a b c d e f Vicente Ochoa (January 1, 1999). "San Miguel de Allende: Un fin de semana en el pasado" [San Miguel de Allende: A weekend in the past]. Palabra (in Spanish). Saltillo. p. 7.  ^ a b c d "Introduction to San Miguel de Allende". Frommers Guides. Wiley Publishing, Inc. 2000–2010. Retrieved October 20, 2010.  ^ a b c d e Casale, Rocky (December 27, 2009). "36 Hours in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico". Travel. New York Times. Retrieved October 20, 2010.  ^ "Territorio de 'gringos viejos'" [Territory of "old gringos"]. Reforma (in Spanish). Mexico
City. April 9, 2001. p. 14.  ^ "The Lions Club of San Miguel de Allende". Mexico: Lions Club of Mexico. Retrieved October 20, 2010.  ^ "Sociedad Audubon de México" [Audubon Society of Mexico] (in Spanish). San Miguel de Allende, Mexico: Audubon Society of Mexico. Retrieved October 20, 2010.  ^ a b c d e f g h i j Angel Valtierra. "Fin de semana en San Miguel de Allende (Guanajuato)" [Weekend in San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel de Allende
(Guanajuato)] (in Spanish). Mexico
City: Mexico
Desconocido magazine. Retrieved October 20, 2010.  ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v "Lugares de Interés" [Places of Interest] (in Spanish). San Miguel Allende, Guanajuato: Municipality of San Miguel Allende. Retrieved October 20, 2010.  ^ Victoria Garcia (September 30, 2010). "Luce en todo su esplendor Museo Histórico de San Miguel Allende" [The Museo Historico de San Miguel Allende shows all its splendor]. Uno Mas Uno (in Spanish). Retrieved October 20, 2010.  ^ Sarah Ann Long (2006). "The perfect partnership of service and entrepreneurship in San Miguel de Allende". New Library World. London. 107 (7/8): 352. doi:10.1108/03074800610677326.  ^ "San Miguel Allende" (in Spanish). Mexico: CONACULTA. Retrieved October 20, 2010.  ^ Smithsonian Magazine, December 2010 ^ a b c "Introducing San Miguel de Allende". Lonely Planet. February 17, 2009. Retrieved October 20, 2010.  ^ Berlin Bar & Bistro ^ "Art, Creative Writing Courses to be Offered in San Miguel de Allende". US Fed News Service, Including US State News. Washington. May 28, 2009. p. 1.  ^ "Procesión del silencio en San Miguel Allende" [Procession of Silence in San Miguel Allende] (in Spanish). Mexico: Oficio del Historiar. Retrieved October 20, 2010.  ^ a b "Cultura y Tradición" [Culture and Tradition] (in Spanish). San Miguel Allende, Guanajuato: Municipality of San Miguel Allende. Retrieved October 20, 2010.  ^ " San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel de Allende
anuncia 31 edición de festival" [San Miguel de Allende announces 31st edition of festival]. El Universal (in Spanish). Mexico
City. Notimex. July 23, 2009. Retrieved October 20, 2010.  ^ "Festividades" [Festivities] (in Spanish). San Miguel Allende, Guanajuato: Municipality of San Miguel Allende. Retrieved October 20, 2010.  ^ "Fiestas patrias 2010 en San Miguel de Allende" (in Spanish). Mexico City: Mexico
Desconocido magazine. Retrieved October 20, 2010.  ^ a b c Jim Johnston (February 17, 2009). "The Literary life in San Miguel de Allende". McClatchy - Tribune Business News. Washington. p. 1.  ^ "San Miguel Artists: Profiles of Artists in San Miguel de Allende". www.experience-san-miguel-de-allende.com. Retrieved 2015-10-14.  ^ "San Miguel de Allende: Off the Beaten Path - TripAdvisor". www.tripadvisor.com. Retrieved 2015-10-14.  ^ "Canadian war artist Leonard Brooks, 100, made Mexico
his home". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2015-10-16.  ^ "Festival Internacional de Cine Guanajuato
International Film Festival San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel de Allende
Mexico". www.giff.mx. Retrieved 2015-10-14.  ^ a b "Moderniza San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel de Allende
su contacto con turistas Rutas de México" [ San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel de Allende
modernizes its contact with tourists – Routes of Mexico]. El Financiero (in Spanish). Mexico City. July 13, 2006. Retrieved October 20, 2010.  ^ Melissa Bigner (January 10, 2004). "The Americas: San Miguelwood; Mexico's film industry;". The Economist. London. 370 (8357): 42.  ^ "Conteo de Población y Vivienda 2005" [Count of Population and housing 2005] (in Spanish). Mexico: INEGI. Retrieved October 20, 2010.  ^ a b "Normales climatológicas 1951-2010" (in Spanish). National Meteorological Service of Mexico. Retrieved February 26, 2013.  ^ a b "El Charco del Ingenio" [The Ingenio Pond] (in Spanish). San Miguel Allende, Guanajuato: Municipality of San Miguel Allende. Retrieved October 20, 2010.  ^ a b "El Charco de Ingenio Jardìn Botanico" [Charco de Ingenio Botanical Garden] (in Spanish). San Miguel Allende, Guanajuato: Sociedad de El Charco. Retrieved October 20, 2010.  ^ "Interactive City Directory". Sister Cities International. 

Further reading[edit]

Covert, Lisa Pinley (2010) "Colonial Outpost to Artists' Mecca: Conflict and Collaboration in the Development of San Miguel de Allende's Tourism Industry," in Holiday in Mexico: Critical Reflections on Tourism and Tourist Encounters ISBN 978-0-8223-4571-8 Spiegel, Mamie (2005) San Miguel and the War of Independence

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to San Miguel de Allende.

has a travel guide for San Miguel de Allende.

del Ayuntamiento de San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel de Allende
Official website (in Spanish) San Miguel Events Calendar San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel de Allende
Calendar of Events (in English and Spanish) San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel de Allende
Travel Guide San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel de Allende
Travel Guide (in English and Spanish) San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel de Allende
Search Search for information on San Miguel San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel de Allende
Current Events Search for information on San Miguel de Allende Contemporary Arts Center San Miguel Contemporary Arts Center San Miguel

v t e

World Heritage Sites in Mexico

North West

Archaeological Zone of Paquimé, Casas Grandes El Pinacate y Gran Desierto de Altar Biosphere Reserve Islands and Protected Areas of the Gulf of California1 Rock Paintings of Sierra de San Francisco Whale Sanctuary of El Vizcaino

North Central

Camino Real de Tierra Adentro Franciscan Missions in the Sierra Gorda
Franciscan Missions in the Sierra Gorda
of Querétaro Historic Centre of Zacatecas Historic Monuments Zone of Querétaro Historic Town of Guanajuato
and Adjacent Mines Protected town of San Miguel and the Sanctuary of Jesús Nazareno de Atotonilco


Agave Landscape and Ancient Industrial Facilities of Tequila Archipiélago de Revillagigedo Historic Centre of Morelia Hospicio Cabañas, Guadalajara Islands and Protected Areas of the Gulf of California1 Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve1


Earliest 16th-century Monasteries on the slopes of Popocatépetl1 Pre-Hispanic City of El Tajín Historic Centre of Puebla Historic Monuments Zone of Tlacotalpan

South West

Historic Centre of Oaxaca and Archaeological Site of Monte Albán Prehistoric Caves of Yagul
and Mitla
in the Central Valley of Oaxaca Pre-Hispanic City and National Park of Palenque

South Central

Archaeological Monuments Zone of Xochicalco Aqueduct of Padre Tembleque
Aqueduct of Padre Tembleque
Hydraulic System Central University City Campus of the UNAM Earliest 16th-century Monasteries on the slopes of Popocatépetl1 Camino Real de Tierra Adentro Historic Centres of Mexico
City and Xochimilco Luis Barragán House and Studio Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve1 Pre-Hispanic City of Teotihuacán

South East

Ancient Maya City of Calakmul, Campeche Historic Fortified Town of Campeche Pre-Hispanic City of Chichén Itzá Sian Ka'an Pre-Hispanic Town of Uxmal

1 Shared by more than one region

v t e

State of Guanajuato



Abasolo Acámbaro San Miguel de Allende Altamirano Apaseo el Alto Apaseo el Grande Atarjea Celaya Manuel Doblado Comonfort Coroneo Cortázar Cuerámaro Doctor Mora Dolores Hidalgo Guanajuato Huanímaro Irapuato Jaral del Progreso Jerécuaro León Moroleón Ocampo Pénjamo Pueblo Nuevo Purísima del Rincón Romita Salamanca Salvatierra San Diego de la Unión San Felipe San Francisco del Rincón San José Iturbide San Luis de la Paz Santa Catarina Santa Cruz de Juventino Rosas Santiago Maravatío Silao Tarandacuao Tarimoro Tierra Blanca Uriangato Valle de Santiago Victoria Villagrán Xichú Yuriria

v t e

Spanish / Hispanic Colonial architecture

Bigger Historic Centers

Antigua Guatemala Bogotá Buenos Aires Campeche Cartagena de Indias Cienfuegos Coro Cuernavaca Cusco Granada Guanajuato Havana León Los Angeles Lima Manila Mexico
City Mompox Montevideo Morelia Oaxaca Old Panama Panama City Puebla Quito San Diego San Juan San Miguel de Allende Santo Domingo St. Augustine Trujillo Vigan

Spanish Missions concentrations

List of Spanish missions


Argentina Bolivia Chile Costa Rica Colombia Cuba Dominican Republic Ecuador Guam Guatemala Honduras Mexico Nicaragua Panama Paraguay The Philippines Peru Puerto Rico United States

Arizona California Louisiana San Antonio

Uruguay Venezuela

Churches and monasteries

Baroque Churches of the Philippines Bohol Chiloé Popocatépetl


Presidio Caribbean coast of Panama Santo Domingo

Bridges and roads

Camino Real de Tierra Adentro Tayabas

Other buildings types


Haciendas in the Valley of Ameca

Cabildo Colonial universities in Hispanic America Colonial universities in the Philippines Plaza

Architecture types


Andean Churrigueresque Earthquake Mexican Sicilian1

Chilotan Monterey Colonial Renaissance Rococo Neoclassical

Modern Revival Style

Spanish Colonial Revival architecture Mission Revival architecture

1It occured when it was part of the Spanish kingdom Category

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 263005