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Statue of St. Joseph and the Christ Child

San Miguel Allende is famous for its colonial ambience, elegant mansions and fine baroque churches.

Among the latter, perhaps the least well known is the enormous convent of La Concepción, popularly called Las Monjas, whose ample cloister now houses San Miguel's arts and cultural center.

The nun's church was built on a grand scale, at a grand cost, by the eminent Queretaran designer Martínez Gudiño.

Although unfinished, the generally severe interior is brightened by a few pieces of fine statuary, notably the beautiful, lifesize figure of St. Joseph and the young Christ.

The youthful saint is distinguished by his noble head and delicate hands. He is handsomely attired in a robe of black, red, blue and gold, finely detailed in an intricate floral estofado pattern. An exquisite work of 18th century religious art.

White-robed Franciscan nuns are once again in residence, and can be seen most days tending the church altars.

Text and illustration ©1997 & 2000 by Richard D. Perry

For more on the colonial treasures of San Miguel Allende and the arts and architecture of West Mexico, see our guidebook Blue Lakes & Silver Cities

See also our page on the historic nearby Sanctuary of Atotonilco

Also check out Jim Clark's information packed page