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ABOUT SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE, GUANAJUATO

A beautiful and historical city located in the heart of Mexico, San Miguel is a jewel in Guanajuato's crown. Vibrant, colorful, and exciting, the city is a must-see for any discerning traveller visiting this part of Mexico.


HISTORY
Founded as a mission in the 16th century by the Fray Juan de San Miguel, the city went on to take his name in his memory. Later in the city's history this evolved to become San Miguel de Allende in honour of Ignacio Allende, a local hero who contributed to the struggle for independence from Spain.

During the 16th and 17th centuries, San Miguel was an important cross road for silver delivery from the mines in Guanajuato, Real de Catorce and Zacatecs. The city continued to grow with this important traffic and evolved into an architecturally-visual phenomenon which provided the motivation for San Miguel's World Heritage Site designation in 2008. After World War II, San Miguel became a center for the arts, especially painting and photography, and remains so today.


ATTRACTIONS
There really is something for everyone in this bustling city. Below are just a small selection of some of the attractions and must-see local beauty spots.

Central Gardin (referred to as El Jardin) and the Parroquia
The Parroquia is the most famous church in San Miguel, you'll have seen it in all the city's famous photos as it emerges from the heart of the city.

Casa de los Condes de la Canal
Built by a Spanish Viceroy in XXX, this is one of the most magnificent "homes" in the Centro (center of town). Imposing and grand, this famous building is now home to a museum and a bank and it arguably has one of the most majestic and photographed set of doors in the whole of the city.

Barrio del Chorro
This area is where the original settlement of San Miguel began and offers a beautiful garden to walk from the street of Barranca, which turns into Chorro, down to the lavanderia - a public place where the indigenous people still wash their clothes. On the weekends, the plaza here is used by local artists to display their works.

There a a number of organised walks around the Colonial Centro each week which include entry to Colonial homes if rare quality.

For What's Happening "Que Pasa" buy the English/Spanish newpaper, Atencion, published every Friday. The middle section is "Que Pasa" and lists all the local events for the week.


FIESTAS END EVENTS
Mexicans love to party! Be prepared for fabulous fireworks and constant entertainment wherever you turn.

If you're lucky enough to visit the city on Good Friday ahead of Easter, you'll be in for a treat when altars are prepared and set up for walking tours. Some are quite incredible and make for a very different experience.

In June the festival of San Antonio de Padua includes a Parade "Desfile de los Locos" and the 10,000 people that participate try to be as loco as possible wearing all sorts of individualistic masks while dancing through the streets.

July sees the arrival of the Chamber Music Festival; it has been coming to the city since 1979 and is a collection of concerts and performances by internationally renowned musicians.

In September there is a celebration every weekend with the main one being the celebration of Independence DAY on the 16. There is a large Military Parade and many local festivities during this Public Holiday.

November 2nd , the Day of the Dead (All Saints Day) is celebrated all weekend. This is an event unlike any other where the local families celebrate the deceased members of their family by going to the cemetery with flowers, music, food, and dancing. It is a celebration honoring the dead and all visitors are welcome with their cameras.

In December the Jazz Festival comes into the city - along with a Christmas celebration to remember.


OTHER SITES TO SEE:
Bellas Artes which sponsors many cultural activities and expositions.

The History Museum located across the street from the Parrochia is worth a visit.

There are a pleathory of art galleries all over Centro and a congregation of galleries just outside the Centro are located in an old fabric warehouse which was once the central industry of San Miguel. It is know as "La Fabrica" as well as the Art and Design Center La Aurora.

Just a good walk away or taxi ride away are the Botonical Gardens, an ecological preservation with thousands of specied of cactus in 100 hectares of land.

Just outside of San Miguel on the road to the town of Dolores Higalgo, known as La Gruta, there are many natural hot springs well worth a soothing and relaxing afternoon.
TRIPS NEAR SAN MIGUEL:
Atotonilco, a 20 minute drive toward Dolares. The Monestary and Church has recently been restored and was designated a World Heritage Site along with San Miguel.

Pozos is an old mining village about a 45 minute drive from San Miguel.

Dolores, also 45 minute drive from San Miguel. Famous for its Spanish style tiles called Talavera, after the famous ceramic city in Spain, Talavera. Dolores is the site where the "El Grito" for Independance from Spain occurred.

Guanajuato. A university city built around underground tunnels and located in valleys surrounded by seven hills. At one time Guanajuato provided 23% of the world's silver. A great place for walking along the twisting streets visiting the various interesting museums. Guanajuato is most famous for it's Cervantes festival in October. It is suggested to reserve tickets for the various events in August

Peña de Bernal is a charming village which contains the largest rock outcropping after Ayers Rock in Australia. Nearby is Tequisquiapen with a charming central plaza and local market. These towns are located on the highway to Mexico City.
WEEK-END TRIPS:
Mexico City, of course is a 3 1/2 hours bus drive away. So much to see and do that detailed research in necessary.

The state of Michoacan (famous for the Monarch Butterfly migration in January, February and March). Michoacan is famous for the towns of Patzcuaro, Tzinzunzan which has a very unusual pyramid site, Iruapan and many more where so many of the famous artisans have forged their art through the centuries.

Queretaro, less than an hour by bus, has a very impressive Colonial Centre and numerous museums to visit. This makes for a great day out and best undertaken with one of the several Travel Companies in San Miguel.

San Luis Potosi, a 2 1/2 hour drive north has fabulous French architecture, a renowned cathedral and many other interesting sites to take in.
SPORTS:
Golf (all clubs are private with temporary memberships)
(1) Private Club Malanquin (includes tennis and swimming) Private Club Malanquin
(2) Las Ventanas de San Miguel is 5 minutes away from Casa Alegria,
(3) Hacienda Santuario Golf & Spa in Celaya is 35 minutes from San Miguel.

Tennis
(1) Webers +52 (415) 152-0659;
(2) Aldea +52 (415) 152 1022;
(3) Real de Minas +52 (415) 152 2626;
(4) The Bridge Studio +52 (415) 152 6351;
(5) Private Club Malanquin (includes swimming) +52 (415) 152 0516.

Mountain Bicycling in the surrounding mountains, Botanical Garden and other areas. Good bikes are available for hire 5 minutes walk from Casa Alegria. Mike, your host may be available to take you on one of his 3/4 hour rides!

Hot Air Balloon Flights
Coyote Canyon Adventures Coyote Canyon

Croquet, Yoga, Pilates, Dance (including dance lessons), Gimasia, Zumba and Pickle Ball are also available.

CLASSES AVAILABLE
There are classes available at all levels, throughout the year in :
• Painting
• Language
• Sculpture
• Writing
• Photography
• Theatre


MORE LINKS
www.sanmiguelevents.com SMA Events

www.horsebackridingsma.shutterfly.com/ Horse Backriding/

www.arthurmurraysanmiguel.com (dance lessons) Arthur Murray

 

©COPYRIGHT 2012 CASA ALEGRIA DEVELOPED BY  
Javier Zepeda