Mexican National Treasure

January 30, 2013

It's hardly every day an entire city gets itself named a National Monument, but it's well deserved in the case of San Miguel de Allende. A hub of Mexican culture and history, a chance to visit here is a chance to soak up some of the most intriguing and densely packed historical sites in Mexico. Imagine, as your private guide escorts you through the city, viewing the gothic-style La Parroquia church with its towering spires and arches. Follow that up with the baroque, heavily detailed carvings and decorations of the Iglesia de San Francisco, erected (according to legend) by a builder who was so inspired by photos he had seen of the famous European gothic cathedrals that he was driven to replicate that style in the heart of Mexico. You'll appreciate this even more after stopping at the Instituto de Allende, a center for culture built in a renovated home from the 1700s that will open your eyes to the history, artistic movements, and literary achievements of Mexico and Latin America. With that background, you can then explore the former abode of Ignacio Allende, one of the national heroes of the Mexican Independence movement, now a museum dedicated his memory. And if you're lucky enough do all this in March, when the jacaranda trees are in bloom and coloring the city (and streets!) in their vibrant purple blossoms, you will truly have a wonderful experience.

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