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San Francisco Church Bell Tower and the Absent Saint


By Peggy Jones

Construction of Iglesia de San Francisco began in 1779, when the Baroque style of architecture was very popular in churches here in Mexico. The facade, of a design called churrigueresque, is crowded full of elaborate stone carvings of saints, kings, virgins, and angels … but what about the bell tower? Interestingly, the architectural style had changed to Neoclassic before the interior and the bell tower were completed 20 years later, so symmetry, columns, and simplicity prevail. The architect credited with the challenge of integrating these designs was the talented Eduardo Tresguerras, who is also responsible for some of the beautiful churches in Celaya.

The three-sectioned, octagonal tower is indeed neoclassic, but apparently Tresguerras couldn’t resist sticking a few more saints at the top,  eight Franciscan saints to be exact. Unfortunately, only seven remain because a bolt of lightning struck one of them in 1943 (some say in the absence of any storm) and toppled him to the ground. You can get a view of the absent saint’s former spot looking back from Mesones Street to the front entrance to Plaza Civica.

You can learn more about the churches in San Miguel, and so much more, in this month’s Patronato Pro Niños Architectural Walking Tour on Thursday, October 19. The 2-1/2 hour, mostly level, walking tour meets at 9:45am in the Jardín, in front of the Parroquia, and departs promptly at 10am. Donation for this tour is 350 pesos per person. No reservations are required. You will be led by knowledgeable volunteer guides, and best of all, you will be contributing to a great local cause!

These tours all benefit the good work of Patronato Pro Niños, which for 47 years has been providing medical and dental services to underprivileged children of San Miguel and the surrounding rural communities. By joining our tours, your contribution goes 100% to help these children.

Our group of expert volunteer guides also lead Historical Walking Tours every Monday. Wednesday, and Friday, same time, same place. Gather in the Jardín, in front of the Parroquia, at 9:45am for a wonderful 2-1/2 hour tour of San Miguel history. Donation for this tour is 300 pesos per person and no reservations are required, but we appreciate advance notice of large groups. Private tours can be arranged by contacting Lily at patronatoproNiñ or calling 415 152 7796. All tours are in English, and all benefit the health of the children of San Miguel through Patronato Pro Niños.


Architectural Walking Tour

Thu, Oct 19, 9:45am

Meet in the Jardín, across from the Parroquia

350 pesos

Every Mon, Wed, Fri.

Historical Walking Tour, 300 pesos

Donation benefits Patronato Pro Niños



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