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“A Joyous Riot” of Decorative Architecture

By Cheryl Young

Exuberant. Lavish. Dramatic. Flamboyant. “A Joyous Riot” . These are the words often used to describe the art and architecture, literature and dance, music and painting of the Baroque era, which was the dominate style In Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries. The Baroque style can be heard in the glorious strains of Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” , and seen in the dark, fiery masterpieces of Italian artist, Caravaggio.

“Architectural Historical Tour”
Thu, Jan 18, 9:45am
Meet in the Jardin, across from the Parroquia
350 pesos per person donation

In architecture, the Baroque was expressed initially, in the building of lavish, ornate churches, gilded with wealth from the New World, and designed to communicate the power and preeminence of the Catholic Church. In Spain, the Baroque style of Architecture was dominated for almost two centuries by a dynasty of architects, the family “Churriguera” . Their influence extended throughout Spain and Portugal and their colonies in South America. Here in colonial Mexico, architecture in the Spanish Baroque style was transformed and taken to an even more decorative, and almost frenetic expression in the form called “Mexican Churrigueresque” .

We have our own example of “Mexican Churrigueresque” in San Miguel in the lavish, ornamented stucco decorations of the facade of the San Francisco Church. One of our expert architectural guides delved into his research files to report that a well known writer on Mexican colonial architecture described that Church as having an “exceedingly richly carved portal” . Another PPN Architectural Guide says that she has counted at least 37 saints on the elaborate, ornate facade.

We invite you to learn about all of the Architectural styles in San Miguel de Allende by taking a special Architectural Tour from the Patronato Pro Niños Volunteer Guides. 100% of the Tour donations and tips go to support the important work of Patronato Pro Niños. For 48 years, this non profit organization has been providing necessary medical and dental services to children in San Miguel whose families cannot afford to provide it for them. The focus of the fundraising activity for the Guides is the mobile operation: the service range extends out of San Miguel, to the small rural hamlets that surround the city. The heavily customized Dental and Medical Vans leave their offices early every Monday through Friday, and keep returning to the same village until all of the children have been attended to by a doctor or dentist.

All Tours are given in English. No reservations are needed, but we may need to limit the group size in high season. We offer private customized Tours. Contact Christina @ 415 – 152-7796 for information and


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