San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico
Founded in 1542 by Fray Juan de San Miguel, a Franciscan monk, San Miguel de Allende retains a rich colonial charm with its cobblestone streets and beautiful Spanish colonial mansions, many of which have been restored to their former splendor. It's a protected national monument; all new construction must conform to the colonial architecture.
The Parroquia, the pseudogothic church in the heart of San Miguel de Allende is the center of the attraction. Legend has it that the architect of the facade (added in 1888) of the church had never seen a gothic church and had to take his ideas from picture postcards of the gothic cathedrals of Europe. Apparently not much of a draftsman, he drew pictures of his concept in the dirt in front of the church to show his workmen what he envisioned.
In the tombs beneath the main altar of the church are the remains of former bishops of the church and many dignitaries who once lived in San Miguel, including a former President of the Republic of Mexico. The tombs are open to the public just one day of the year, November 2, Día de los Muertos - The Day of the Dead.