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A Portrait of the Parroquia

By Robert de Gast

It is not a cathedral. It is not the oldest church in San Miguel. Parroquia just means  “parish.” Its façade was only finished a little over a hundred years ago and has recently been renovated. But San Miguel de Allende’s parish church, La Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel, has become world famous, the symbol that instantly identifies San Miguel the way the Eiffel Tower, say, announces Paris, or the Golden Gate Bridge San Francisco.

A Portrait of the Parroquia
Tue, Aug 28, 5pm
Teatro Santa Ana
La Biblioteca
Reloj 50A
70 pesos

On Tuesday, August 28 at 5pm, author and photographer Robert de Gast will present a slide show and talk in the Teatro Santa Ana at La Biblioteca, discuss the history of the church and show the many ways in which San Miguel’s icon has been used to promote the town (and sell merchandise!).

The slide show, entitled “A Portrait of the Parroquia,” will explore many spaces within the church, some seldom seen by the casual visitor. The famous travel writer Kate Simon once wrote about the church, “Although it bears a wispy resemblance to the lace of Milan and Chartres, its lightly crazy style adds an appropriate touch, some say, to a town which has its other loony aspects.” Photographs will show what it’s like to climb up into the towers or to climb down into the crypt. De Gast will also show examples of how representations of the Parroquia are used to sell anything from T-shirts and coffee mugs to books and posters.

De Gast, a long-time resident, is a photojournalist and photography coach and the author of 10 books, including, most recently, The World of San Miguel de Allende: An Uncommon Guide.

The admission charge to the one-hour presentation is 70 pesos. A portion is donated to La Biblioteca.

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