San Miguel de Allende



San Miguel de Allende is located in the eastern part of Guanajuato in Mexico's mountainous bajío region. The bajío (low place) is a relatively flat region about 2,000 m (7,000 ft) above sea level surrounded by mountains; it is a part of the Mexican altiplano. San Miguel serves as the administrative seat for the surrounding municipality of Allende, Guanajuato.

The town was founded in 1542 by the Franciscan monk Fray Juan de San Miguel. It was an important stopover on the Antiguo Camino Real, part of the silver route from Zacatecas, Zacatecas. The town featured prominently in the Mexican War of Independence. General Ignacio Allende, one of San Miguel's native sons, was a leading player in the war against Spain for independence. Allende, captured in battle and beheaded, is a national hero. San Miguel el Grande renamed itself "San Miguel de Allende" in 1826 in honor of his actions.

By 1900, San Miguel de Allende was in danger of becoming a ghost town. Declared a national historic monument in 1926 by the Mexican government, development in the historic district is restricted in order to preserve the town's colonial character.


San Miguel de Allende was also named a Pueblo Mágico in 2002. In 2008, San Miguel was designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.