Bob Weinstein, editor-in-chief of Edmonton-based the Global Times, and author of “SO WHAT IF I’M 65”, wrote this column from San Miguel de Allende, where he was taking a much-needed vacation with his wife (according to his own words).
Initially I planned not to work while on vacation. Why not do something smart and try to relax and re-charge my batteries? Easier said than done, especially if you’re vacationing in one of the world’s most fascinating cities.
No wonder it’s a favourite with North Americans who hanker to get away from the cold to a place where the sun always shines, the temperature during the day reaches 75 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter, a chilly 40 degrees Fahrenheit at night, and you’re steeped in the history of one of Mexico’s landmark cities. Beyond the inexpensive cost of living and fantastic food, the architecture is breathtaking.
It’s not hard to understand why so many North American vacationers make a yearly pilgrimage to this beautiful city. Some stay for a week or two, others, the entire winter, and many retire here.
Just as I was fascinated by the architecture of Sicily — where most of the walls, cathedrals and buildings that date back to the 9th century are still standing — the architecture of San Miguel, built a few centuries later, is still intact, especially the churches and the sprawling town squares, which are famous for their outdoor markets.
What can we learn from San Miguel’s architects and masons? Here are a few of the things I observed:
Building stone walls, buildings and cobblestone streets was more than a craft; it was practically an art form. This is especially true of many of the churches and official buildings. Everyone involved in the building process — designers, architects and especially the stonemasons — was a highly trained craftsman who took great pride in his work. The ancient buildings are unique.
There are many churches in San Miguel; the most famous is La Parroquia San Miguel Arcangel, or simply La Parroquia. Both the exterior and interior of these churches should be seen in order to appreciate the care and creativity that went into building them.
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