The building that today we know as Municipal Palace in San Miguel de Allende, was formally known as the town hall or Royal houses.
Its function has not changed, is still the seat of local power.
It is particularly significant for the history not only of San Miguel de Allende but of all Mexico because in it heads of the insurgency met in order to organize and structure the first army rebel, as well as to install the first free town hall, on September 17, 1810. Summoned by Don Ignacio Allende and Don Miguel Hidalgo, the main inhabitants of the Villa, gathered at the Town Hall of the royal houses, they choose Lic. Ignacio Aldama as first Chief and put him in charge of the military headquarters of the population and district. Without a doubt, this was a national event, as it marked the beginning of a new way of choosing leaders.
This building has a high historical and architectural value, it has managed to keep the original function of a council.
However, the original configuration is very different to what you see today.
The originally built spaces were made for various purposes; the uses varied “…Prison, grain storage, crafts and House of the Mayor…” Therefore it requires spaces with different dimensions and characteristics.
The ground floor clearly had two sectors.
The west one was destined for the jail and consisted of three areas: the entry, the courtyards, and the cells.
The east side was constructed for the office of the public offices and for the storage of the corn.
To go to the corn exchange, an alley existed between the Royal houses and the building that was adjoining towards the east.
The high plant had three sectors.
The east side was dedicated to Mayor and his family, which was composed by four corridors arranged south to north; that of the south end had windows towards the square and towards the side face.
The south sector was composed by three corridors; the center was devoted for the meetings of the council (hence its name); towards the west side a chapel was located, while towards the east a small entry room.
This important building was built between 1737 and 1738.
Its construction is mainly due to the initiative of Don Francisco de Lanzagorta, who asked the council to build a new building for the Royal houses and Corn Exchange, under which this would be beneficial for the inhabitants of the Villa of San Miguel El Grande.
This request was endorsed by the Mayor of the town, Don Bartolomé de Guzmán, who was always interested in the construction of the building.
For this purpose, it was necessary to buy a property in the Central Square that had one greater surface to which had the building of the ancient royal houses, which in 1736 were still located in the Plaza de la Soledad.
Thus, the council managed to get the land on the north side of the parish Plaza (today Plaza Allende or main garden).
However, the retrieved property was not sufficient for the sought out characteristics that the “New Royal House Factory” pretended on having.
In such a way it was decided to buy a “piece of site” to the West that had already been obtained.
But Don Pedro Zamarripa, owner of the site, strictly opposed to sell the council the requested land.
The problem dragged on for four years, and it became necessary to go before the High Court of justice so that the issue could be solved.
Finally, in 1739, after a long legal process, the council desisted from obtaining the property.
The blueprint appears in the catalog of illustrations of the General File of the Mexican Nation (Not. 782 and 783 Catalog of Enlightenment, Volume I, PP99-100) it was ordered to be made by the lawyer or representative of Mr. Zamarripa like part of its arguments not to sell the property; the architect who did the construction was Manuel Alvarez.
The construction corresponds to the building that began during the legal process against Zamarripa.
Architect Alvarez makes some comments in the blueprints with regard to the possibilities to having the building extended, without the need to affect the adjacent property, today Inn of San Francisco.
Once the building was finished the Parochial Square became the Main Plaza, after the council was moved to the ancient Consistorial Houses, which were locating in the Square of
the Solitude, to the new Royal houses, a place that up to today keeps on being the head office of the local power.
How this Virtual Tour was made
San Miguel de Allende is a city full of all kind of attractions.
It has been recognized as the city of celebration, tradition, art and culture.
For where one looks, beautiful objects and constructions are there to be appreciated and enjoyed.
Very few cities in the world are so colorful. Beauty is everywhere.
But the historical buildings of colonial architecture, almost 500 years old of the historic center are something special.
On the spherical picture perhaps the most complicated part is to replace the Nadir of the image to prevent the tripod, so that must be a freehand additional photography and through PTGui is replaced.
This is more complicated in floors as the plank of wood in the council room of the Town Hall of San Miguel de Allende.
English language translation made by Universidad Autónoma de Sinaloa through the collaboration of Centro de Estudio de Idiomas