AAA Editor Notes
Parish Church (La Parroquía) is on Calle Correo, facing the s. side of the main plaza; street parking is limited. Soaring over the plaza, La Parroquía dominates the city. Originally built in the late 17th century in a plain Franciscan style, it was given an imposing facelift 2 centuries later by a local Indian artisan, Zeferino Gutiérrez. With no formal training, he added the present facade of pink-hued sandstone, allegedly using postcard pictures of French Gothic cathedrals as his inspiration.
Inside are murals, vaulted ceilings, side chapels and statues of saints, including St. Michael the Archangel (the church's official name is Parroquía de San Miguel Arcángel). The tomb of Anastasio Bustamante, president of Mexico from 1832-33 and again from 1839-41, is open to the public on Nov. 2. The original bell, cast in 1732, begins ringing early in the morning to summon parishioners.
Time: Allow 45 minutes minimum.