Published On: Mon, Mar 14th, 2022

The Sanctuary of Atotonilco, SMA’s own Sistine Chapel

One of the most breathtaking pieces of religious art can be found just 15 minutes from San Miguel de Allende. Seriously – move over Sistine Chapel. In the nearby town of Atotonilco stands a magnificent church, today is known as the Sanctuary of Atotonilco.

The sanctuary was built by theologist Luis Felipe Neri Alfaro, who came to San Miguel de Allende in the mid 18th century to continue his religious studies.

The sanctuary stands today in the Mexican Baroque style, with the exterior designed to look like a Spanish fortress. But the true beauty is within.

Stepping through the heavy wooden doors, visitors are taken aback by the folk art that plasters nearly every inch.


The murals in the narthex are of the Last Judgment. Farther on, visitors enter a smaller section that is truly splashed over everything.

It’s difficult to find one section of the sanctuary that is not bathed in murals. Alfaro remained the priest of the sanctuary for 36 years. Today, he is buried in a tomb in the wall beside the main altar.

Address: Calle Principal 31, Atotonilco, Gto.

San Miguel Times



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