The 7 Treasures of San Miguel de Allende

San Miguel de Allende will receive promotion from 30 countries and will reach 90 million people approximately.

The 7 Treasures of San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel Arcángel Parish, built in the 18th century - Photo: iStock/EL UNIVERSAL
English 20/07/2019 19:40 Samantha Michelle Guzmán Mexico City Actualizada 09:39
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Mexico just became the country with more Capitals of Culture in America with its fifth designation. This year's winner is San Miguel de Allende. In the next 12 months, it must proudly show to the world the places and events that make it unique.

Each year, the International Bureau of Capitals of Culture is in charge of making this appointment. The chosen destination receives promotion from 30 countries and reaches approximately 90 million people.



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Last year, the World Heritage site made an online poll to select the 7 Treasures of its Cultural Heritage, as explains Guillermo González Engelbrecht, CEO of San Miguel de Allende's Tourism Council. They are places and events that should be on the itinerary of Mexicans and foreigners.

1. San Miguel Arcángel Parish.



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Its Neo-Gothic facade, the most famous image of the city, was concluded in 1890 by a bricklayer and selft-taught architect called Zeferino Gutiérrez, who was inspired by European cathedrals. This happened in the 18th century. Ignacio Allende was baptized at this parish.

2. Sanctuary of Jesús Nazareno de Atotonilco.
It is a World Heritage site since 2008 due to its baroque interior decorated with murals, which is a perfect example of the architecture of the New Spain. Located 14km from the city, it has a big temple with several chapels. It was built during the 18th century.

3. Cañada de la Virgen



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It is an archeological site 40 minutes by car from San Miguel. It is believed that more than nine centuries ago, its basement was used to perform studies about cosmic cycles for agricultural benefit. There are horse rides to visit this place.

4. Traditional neighborhoods
There are 20 historical communities in the city, including El Chorro and Valle del Maíz, which are about 10 and 20 minutes away by feet, respectively, from Allende Garden.

In the first neighborhood, there is a steep, crooked corridor surrounded by vegetation, up to where a spring used to be; it keeps a series of traditional sinks that got filled with the flow and that still work nowadays.



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The second neighborhood is famous for its Feast of the Holy Cross, which takes place in May. It is characterized by the dance of the striped, in which the participants wear plumes with feathers.

5. Handcrafts
Wool and brass are the main raw materials. The first is used to create woven overcoats, blankets, and rugs, while brass is shaped into metal stars full of details. You can find these pieces in the Mercado de Artesanías of the Lucas Balderas street.

6. Señor de la Conquista
It is a meeting of dances of pre-Hispanic origin from all around the country. It takes place on the first Friday of March in the main square with live music. It is made in honor of the Santo Cristo de los Conquistadores, a figure made in the 16th century with corn cane, amate paper, and wood.

7.Festival of San Miguel Arcángel
It is the celebration of the patron of the city and its official date is on September 29th. It gathers two important events. The Entry of the Xúchiles is the first: the delivery of offers elaborated with the “cucharilla” plant, from all the communities of San Miguel. Then comes La Alborada: a party that is always held on a weekend and starts at 4 a.m.; it has fireworks, live music, dancing, traditional food, and parades with “mojigangas” (dolls with human figures made from papier-mâché, of up to five meters tall). It also includes the dance of the Voladores de Papantla.

Other essentials
In addition to the 7 Treasures, San Miguel will promote its cultural events of international scope, according to Guillermo González Engelbrecht. They include the festivals of Jazz and Blues (January 24th), of Chamber Music (August), and the Guanajuato International Film Festival (GIFF, in July), which is one of the top events of its kind in Mexico, with projections, workshops, and a college rally.


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