Friday, February 11, 2011

Fountains, fountains and more fountains

One of the most prominent architectural features in San Miguel de Allende is its fountains, known as a pilas. You will find fountains on street corners, in the city's numerous plazas, courtyards of private home, restaurants, chapels... all so different.
The Bellas Artes above has a charming fountain with the interior lined with blue and white talavera tile and a stone carving of a lamb on its top.
The French Park has numerous fountains through out its gardens.  It is such a pleasant spot to go for a walk and on the weekends, there is a farmer's market and artist displaying their works.
I would have to say the most photographed fountain in town is at then north end of Calle Aldama.  This is an older photo.  Presently the interior of the fountain is painted white but I much prefer the blue.
A colorful fountain with some funky tile.

I enjoy putting roses in and around the fountain in the front patio of my casa.  I love the sound of the fountain with the water splashing out of the lion's mouth.

The fountain in the jardin, the main square, is always running and such a pleasant sight on a cool day.
At the corner of Pila Seca and Zacateros is an imposing fountain dedicated to "the memory of the illustrious Leader of Liberty, C. Ignacio Allende."  (A la memoria del Varon ilustre Primer Caudillo La Libertad, C. Ignacio Allende).  1848.
A close-up of Allende's fountain with the commingled stone fish spouting water.
The fountain in front of the San Francisco church is a favorite among the local pigeons.  Children can not resist it either.  Children can not pass up the opportunity to drag their hands through the water as they walk by with their parents on the way to church or further on to the market.  I don't blame them.
A fountain with a different look can be found at the corner of Hospicio and Recreo.  It was dedicated to the Mexican Expeditionary Air Force, a group of P-47 fighter pilots who fought in the Southwest Pacific area.  This was Mexico's only military group that participated overseas in combat in World War II.
On Calle Diez de Sollano, this plump face blows a jet of water into the fountain.

The large and rather impressive fountain is the main focal point in the grandiose courtyard at the Instituto Allende.  The Instituto was originally built in 1736 as the country retreat for the Canal family.  The massive floral arrangement was left over from a wedding that had been held on the grounds over the weekend

Dianne Kushner, owner of Rancho Casa Luna (and Casa Luna B & B where my groups stay) designed and had this four foot wide cantera (stone) disc hand carved with a spout in the middle.  It is on the main floor of her Rancho and it is so soothing to hear and see the water gurgling out of it.  So simple but so elegant.
I will be over in Patzcuaro with my Artisan & Architecture group in a few weeks.  The humongous fountain in Patzcuaro's Plaza de Vasco de Quiroga is just beautiful with the statue of Don Vasco in the center.  I particularly like the carved relief of the stone acanthus leaves that embellish the fountain's exterior.

This quaint fountain can be found to the right of the doors that lead into the little chapel at the Hacienda de Landetta, located just a few miles out of town on the road to Dr. Mora.  I will be taking my Artisan & Architecture group there for a special comida (lunch).
Another pretty fountain that is in a small courtyard garden of a newly renovated home on Calle Reloj.  The owner, Elicia, turned her home into a charming little restaurant, Cafe Buenas Dias. 
Another grand daddy of a fountain, part of Plaza Civica between the La Salud Church and La Oratorio Church.  Originally fountains were purely functional, supplying water to the town's people.  Today, they they still provide water to a few.  To me, they are one of many aspects of San Miguel that makes this town so beautiful.

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