“A Little Bit Moor”: the PPN Architectural Walking Tour

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By Peggy Jones

Although not one of the predominant architectural styles in San Miguel de Allende, we do see a spattering of Moorish influence about. The term “Mudejar” refers to an architectural and decorative style from Iberia (Spain) that was strongly influenced by the Moors’ taste and workmanship, originating during medieval times. The influence survived into the 1700s and was integrated into several other architectural styles that were brought to New Spain during the colonial era. Some of these Moorish characteristics include horseshoe arches, multifoil doorways, bulbous domes, and geometric patterns. Even the richly decorated entrances (zaguans) in front of large open courtyards, which we see in most colonial homes, reflect this influence.

As part of the Patronato Pro Niños Architectural Tour, your guide will point out some examples of the Moorish influence, including the simple trefoil door in this picture. More dominant architectural styles—baroque, neoclassic, gothic revival, Spanish mission, and Mexican modern—are covered as well in this special, once-a-month tour.

If you are one of those long-term residents or frequent visitors to San Miguel who have been meaning to take the Architectural Tour, now is the perfect time! Crowds are a bit smaller, and our dedicated volunteer guides are anxious to share their knowledge and enthusiasm for our magical city. One of the things we often hear during this tour is, “I have walked this street so many times, and I never noticed that before!”

The same goes for our regular Monday, Wednesday, and Friday Historical Walking Tours. With the “high season” behind us, guides have plenty of time to answer questions and elaborate on the amazing history and culture that we all treasure. And the “icing on the cake” is that all of your donations and tips go to support the important work of Patronato Pro Niños. For 48 years, this not-for-profit organization has been providing necessary medical and dental services to needy children of San Miguel and the many outlying rural communities. You can learn more about this great organization at patronatoproninos.org.

All tours are in English and last about two-and-a-half hours. Meet in the Jardín in front of the Parroquia by 9:45am for a 10am departure. No reservations are required, but we appreciate advance notice of large groups. With five days’ notice, we can offer private, customized tours. Contact Cristina at 415 152 7796.

 

Architectural Walking Tour

Thu, May 17, 9:45am

Meet in the Jardín, across from the Parroquia

350 pesos donation

Every Mon, Wed, and Fri, Historical Walking Tour, 300 pesos

Benefits Patronato Pro Niños

 

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