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San Miguel de Allende – Mexico

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Once a forgotten city, San Miguel de Allende rose again to be one of the prettiest cities of Mexico. The location of San Miguel de Allende is in the eastern part of Guanajuato city in the central part of Mexico. The distance between San Miguel de Allende and Mexico City is 274 kilometre and that from the capital of Guanajuato is 97 km.

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The city of San Miguel de Allende gets one half of its name from the founder Father Juan de San Miguel. The second half comes from the name of the revolutionary Ignacio Allende who was born there. Though, San Miguel was on the verge of abandonment in the 16th century due to water problems and attacks from the Guamare people, its importance rose when it became a stopping place for silver between Zacatecas and Mexico City. It is therefore, that the town architecture is a mix of Baroque and Neoclassical styles.

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As San Miguel de Allende faced the colonial domination of the Spanish armies from early times so, in the 19th century it played an important role in sparking the Mexican War of Independence against Spain. It was one of the first locations to get freedom from Spain. It was after this year long struggle that, in 1826, its stature changed from a town to the city and the name included Allende as an honour to Ignacio Allende. Abandonment again haunted San Miguel de Allende when the mining of Guanajuato declined in the 19th century which extended till the Mexican Revolution. After the coming of the New Mexican Government San Miguel de Allende was termed as a “Historic and Protected Town” whose colonial appearance was to be preserved.

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It is precisely a result of these regulations that today the city’s historic centre proudly flaunts the architecture of 17th and 18th centuries with their sumptuous interiors, leafy courtyards, the Neo-Gothic plans and so on. The popularity of the city of San Miguel de Allende rose further when in the 20th century years of 1930s and 40s foreign students of art, especially from US, starting venturing the city. This frequency rose further after the Second World War when even former students got a chance to study in these places which had rural locations. This brought to San Miguel de Allende its cosmopolitan nature which existed along with the traditional one. Now the locals of San Miguel de Allende live merrily with the Europeans, Americans, and Canadians and commerce is the focus than architecture.

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The best way of exploring San Miguel de Allende is known to be by walking. Amongst the other scenic places is the Mirador which gives a panoramic view of the city. A car though is not useful within the city but, can be used to visit the neighbouring towns and cities. Both the city and the Sanctuary of Jesus de Atotonilco are World Heritage sites of the place. As San Miguel has no airport usually the tourists fly from Leon/Bajio airports or that of the Mexico City.

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