Saturday, October 1, 2011

20th Century On

The city of San Miguel de Allende experienced a renaissance late in the 1930s. A ruin, full of magnificent churches and empty mansions, after discovering San Miguel, Mexican opera singer and movie star, Jose Mojica told friends about the town. This attracted celebrities, artists and writers, including future Nobel laureates, Gabriela Mistral and Pablo Neruda. The lovely Escuela de Bellas Artes, an art and cultural school, was created in 1938 by Felipe Cossio del Pomar, a Peruvian writer. Cossio del Pomar, along with American director, Stirling Dickenson and Nell Fernandez established another prominent art school, the Instituto Allende in 1950. Both of these schools attracted former soldiers as students as U.S. veterans studying under the G.I. Bill were permitted to study abroad, where their checks stretched farther. In 1948, Life magazine declared the town a "GI paradise." The town's cultural reputation rose along with enrollment at the schools, in turn attracting more artists and writers. This, in turn, spurred the opening of hotels, shops and restaurants to cater to the new visitors and residents. Americans have been credited with saving the city as many of the veterans who came to study in San Miguel would later come back to retire.
San Miguel Allende Vacation Guide

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