Posted on Apr 28, 2013 in Wintering in Mexico, World Heritage City

World Heritage City

 A City Reborn


San Miguel de Allende, established in the sixteenth century, once a prosperous city on the Spanish silver trade route and later a significant site in the Mexican War of Independence, nearly became a ghost town in the early twentieth century during a period of economic decline.  Fortunately, the town has experienced a renaissance by protecting its outstanding colonial architecture and by developing and promoting itself as a center of art, culture, and learning.  This transformation began in 1926 when the Mexican government declared San Miguel a national historic monument, thereby limiting development within the historic district.  The town’s revival continued with the establishment of renowned art schools, including the Instituto Allende, and culminated in the city’s designation as a World Heritage site.  Today, San Miguel is a vibrant multicultural city replete with galleries, outstanding crafts, concerts, dance, and opportunities for lifelong learning.



Upon the recommendation of her Spanish teacher, Mary spent two winters in San Miguel where she rented a townhouse and immersed herself in Mexican culture through classes, outings and daily interactions.  Spanish language instruction is readily available through formal classes, private tutors or family homestay programs.  And, of course, do not forget the local library!   La Biblioteca San Miguel Allende is Mexico’s second largest bilingual library and a great place to attend Spanish conversation classes, movies, lectures, concerts, plays, tours and more.  Above all, walk the city’s cobblestone streets to absorb the rituals of daily life, to relish San Miguel’s rich history and art, and to interact with its residents.

For special events, and there are many, consult the city’s English weekly newspaper Attencion or simply walk to El Jardin in the city center to see what is happening.  San Miguel is a place of celebration, where church bells and firecrackers mark events, and where festivals rein supreme.  Feasts, processions, holidays and processions mark many occasions:  the slider below illustrates a few highlights during Mary’s visits.


1)  The blessing of the animals on St. Anthony’s Day, January 17

2)  A scene from Ignacio Allende’s Birthday parade, January 21

3)  A procession of Indian Concheros dancers, March 4



Plan this trip!



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