About San Miguel de Allende
The heart of Mexico
Founded as "San Miguel" in 1542 by a Franciscan monk named Fray Juan de San Miguel, it later became a centerpiece in the war for Mexican independence from Spain; it was renamed after Ignacio Allende, a hero of the independence movement in 1826. San Miguel de Allende is a small colonial town in the Bajio region of central Mexico, about 170 miles northwest of Mexico City and is famous worldwide for its mild climate, thermal springs and colonial architecture. The town was declared a national monument in 1926 and building became heavily restricted in the town's historic Centro district, allowing the city to keep its charm and colorful native facades. It's a tourist destination, artist colony and retirement community for a few thousand foreigners consisting mostly of Americans, Canadians, Europeans and Mexicans who have rediscovered San Miguel de Allende as a Malibu-like retreat from Mexico City.
The law requires that newer buildings conform with existing architecture, and the town has gone to some lengths to retain its picturesque arched colonial mansions, flower-filled patios, and winding cobblestone streets. This town has no traffic lights and for that matter, no neon signs at all. It is a friendly, quiet town that is remarkably comfortable for the traveler and expatriate, It has a rhythm of its own, not to mention it's incredible weather…
|History of San Miguel de Allende
The town of San Miguel de Allende was founded in 1542 by the Franciscan monk Fray Juan de San Miguel. It was an important stopover on the Antiguo Camino Real, part of the silver route from Zacatecas, Zacatecas to Veracruz. The town figured prominently in the Mexican War of Independence. General Ignacio Allende, one of San Miguel's native sons, was a leading player in the war against Spain for independence. Allende, captured in battle and beheaded, is a national hero. San Miguel el Grande renamed itself "San Miguel de Allende" in 1826 in honor of his actions.
Early History of San Miguel
By 1900, San Miguel de Allende was in danger of becoming a ghost town. Declared a national historic monument in 1926 by the Mexican government, development in the historic district is restricted in order to preserve the town's colonial character. During the Cristero uprising in Mexico, when clergy and their families were persecuted, the grandchildren of Gen. Mariano Escobedo came to San Miguel de Allende, which was conveniently secluded since it was on the verge of becoming a ghost town. The six children Mariano Escobedo´s doughter Donna Maria del Refugio, were Don Anastasio Lopez Escobedo, Don Ezequiel Lopez Escobedo, Dr Ignacio Lopez Escobedo, and the sisters, Balbina and Isabella Lopez Escobedo. The eldest child was a “Cura”, a charismatic priest, Don Jose Lopez Escobedo, for whom the family was persecuted.
The Cura Jose Lopez is interred at the main altar under St. Peter in the Parroquia church of San Miguel, with a beautiful dedication to his work restoring the church in the 20th century. Lopez Escobedo is interred in the Church by the world-famous and miraculous Christ of the Conquest. The family fled their native home hacienda, Hacienda de los Lopez, to San Miguel Allende, where the Escobedo had a home, on Calle de Mesones and where a plaque still identifies the house. Few descendants from this family live in San Miguel, as only Don Ezequiel Lopez Escobedo had children. The eldest of his grandchildren is Marcela Andre Lopez, an international teacher and designer of jewel garlands now in residence in the historic district in one of Don Ezequiel Lopez Escobedo's homes. Sr. Ezequiel Lopez Basurto, son of Don Ezequiel Lopez Escobedo, has presided over many works by the Rotary Club.
Some of the most important events in Mexican history took place in stunning architectural settings.
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