I have been interested for quite a while in finding a particular capilla pictured in de Gast’s book¹ which has an attractive and unusual scalloped facade and tilted cross. Robert de Gast labels the capillas, not with a saint’s name…which can change depending on which person one asks, but with the community name. He had labeled this one San Francisco Xavier. There is no San Francisco Xavier currently listed in the municipality of San Miguel de Allende. A few months ago we set off in the direction of a community with the name of San Francisco Javier de Los Tovares (see Adventures in the Campo…) to try to find this particular capilla but we were in the wrong place. No luck. Sent queries out to a few people but no one could place this capilla. There were three other options of communities with some variation of the name San Francisco: One was the community of San Francisco near Corral de Piedras Arriba…so last Friday off we went on a quest.
Linda spotted the cross and bell and there it was….quite different in all its turquoise glory. The cross has been replaced and no longer tilts and the rock wall on the left has been replaced but without the door. A sacristy has been added on the right and concrete patio added as well. The two trees in the photo, which is at least 20 years old, are still there.
I think the reason that this capilla proved so difficult to find is that it faces away from the road and one has to walk into the atrium to see the facade. Some women and children watched us paint from a distance and I could only convince one girl to pose…her sister shyly refusing.
San Francisco: Population, 285; elevation, 2075 meters; dwellings, 60.
¹Robert de Gast. The Churches and Chapels of San Miguel de Allende. E&R Publications, Birdsnest, VA (1997).
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