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Tour Reveals San Miguel’s History Hidden In Plain Sight


By Kathleen Bennett

The final program of the six-week Virtual Walking Tour “San Miguel’s Secrets Revealed” will take place at the Library’s Sala Quetzal on Tuesday, February 20 from 3–4 p.m. Surely the best has been saved for the last!

During your own walks through San Miguel de Allende, how many different styles of crosses have you seen? Where can one find the Cross of Lorraine, carried in the Crusades by the Knights Templar? How are pagan symbols combined with Christian crosses in San Miguel’s art and architecture?

Street names in San Miguel are often related to events or persons important in Mexico’s past. For example, calle La Corregidora refers to a heroine of Mexico’s War for Independence, Maria Josefa Ortiz Dominguez. Juárez Street refers to Mexico’s first indigenous president, elected in1857, who passed the reform laws nationalizing many Catholic properties, including San Miguel’s Bellas Artes and the Library.

Have you noticed truly odd and unusual features in San Miguel’s architecture? There are water spouts shaped like animal heads and arms without bodies. Where can one find San Miguel’s most narrow house? Or where is there a tavern with its name printed backwards on the outside wall? Exploring these unusual features adorning local buildings is fun and creates a new perspective of San Miguel.

Finally, not everyone has discovered San Miguel’s “zoo.” The animals may not be alive, but they are found everywhere in San Miguel’s architecture. On calle Reloj at Casa Cohen, also named “Noah’s Ark,” a literal boatload of animals can be found. For many years, the Cohen family operated a successful hardware business at this address. The multiple animal images were designed by the owner himself, a successful merchant and member of San Miguel’s vibrant Jewish community.

Don’t miss the final virtual walking tour of “San Miguel’s Secrets Revealed.” There is no walking on this tour. To date, all programs have been sold out, with all monies benefiting San Miguel’s Biblioteca. By understanding more of San Miguel’s fascinating history, your future walks about this beautiful colonial city will be enhanced. Purchase your ticket today at San Miguel’s Library: 150 pesos. Thank you for your support of San Miguel’s Library.



San Miguel’s Secrets Revealed: Street Names, Crosses, Unique Sites, Zoo

Tue, Feb 20, 3–4pm

Sala Quetzal, La Biblioteca

Reloj 50A

150 pesos



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