San Miguel de
San Miguel de Allende it’s a historic
town founded in 1542, located in Mexico's bajío region,
which is a relatively flat region with some rolling
hills about 2,000 m (7,000 ft) above sea level
surrounded by mountains; it is part of the Mexican
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.
During the Cristero uprising in
Mexico, when clergy and their families were
persecuted, the grandchildren of Gen. Mariano
Escobedo came to San Miguel de Allende, which was
conveniently in a secluded condition while verging
on being 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.
Over the last 50 years, it has
become an attractive tourist destination for Mexico
City residents and has a large American and Canadian
expatriate community composed primarily of retirees.
As of 2006, San Miguel de Allende
government officials based on the Mexican census
bureau and from US consulate were using the
following figures: 80,000 residents within the urban
area, 60,000 residents within the several
surrounding villages that are a part of San Miguel
Municipality and 11 to 12,000 foreign residents at
any one time.
Of these foreign residents, 70%
are from the United States, 20% are from Canada, and
the remaining 10% are from 31 other countries. If
the 12,000 foreign residents who live in SMA at any
one time are considered as a percentage of the SMA
urban population, foreigners make up 15% of the SMA
population. San Miguel has a great selection of fine
restaurants, good handicraft shops, galleries and
numerous art and language schools.