San Miguel Viejo by Horse

I am in the mood for the subject of my favorite spots hereabouts.

The original name of the town where I live was San Miguel el Grande. After the War for Independence that started exactly 200 years ago, the name was changed to San Miguel de Allende in honor of General Allende, one of the heroes of that war who lived here.

A little to the west of town is a small settlement called San Miguel el Viejo, Old San Miguel. San Miguel el Viejo now consists of only a few small homesteads–subsistence agriculture consisting of a few goats, a patch of corn, and a lot of children. Poverty of the nature that I do not photograph. We will leave that to the photojournalists.

San Miguel el Viejo was actually the original site where Fray Juan de San Miguel, the explorer and founder, originally started the mission. The mission was later moved up the mountain to the current location of the El Chorro district here in town because of more abundant water here from a spring.

There is a remnant out there of that first mission, however.


It is about a 45 minute ride out there from the railway station at the edge of town. Neal Cassady died next to the tracks about 200 yards from that railway station in 1968, by the way.


Out in the middle of the fields sits the tiny Chapel of San Miguel Archangel that was constructed in 1542,  the date that marks the founding of this city 21 years after The Conquest.


It lists just a bit but not badly considering that it has been there for 468 years.


This is the rectory in the opposite corner of the wall.


A little monument to Fray Juan de San Miguel added later.


And Eric holding my horse while I take photos. Well, not my horse. The stable’s horse. Dorotea. Eric was for a time an undocumented worker in North Carolina. He came back to Mexico.

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