Here is my contribution for
and MEXICO MONDAY.
|Images of San Miguel de Allende's Parrocchia © 2010 Meri Arnett-Kremian.|
One of the most recognizable landmarks
of San Miguel de Allende is the city's Parrocchia,
one of the many parish churches rather than a basilica.
It has a neo-Gothic facade clad in a beautiful pink stone
and its fanciful appearance has reminded some of
The church was built in the 17th century
with a more conventional exterior, but "redecorated"
in 1880 by Zeferino Gutierrez.
He was an indigenous bricklayers and
self-taught architect who was shown
postcards and lithographs of European
cathedrals in the Gothic style
and asked if he could replicate the look.
The resulting revision -- which reclad
the exterior walls of the church --
is his own interpretation
rather than a copycat cathedral.
The interior of the Parrocchia is quite traditional.
We were lucky to be touring
on the one day each year
when the church's crypt was open for visits.
The crypt contains the remains
of former bishops of the church and other dignitaries, including a former president of Mexico.