On July 8, 2008, San Miguel de Allende was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. A remarkable example of 16th-century Spanish Colonial Baroque architecture, as well as a place of vital importance during the Mexican War of Independence, San Miguel de Allende was added to the UNESCO Cultural Heritage list under the Historical City category. The city’s colonial authenticity and cultural integrity, and the excellent condition of its historic downtown (Centro Historico,) were key elements that contributed to the UNESCO designation.

The UNESCO historic district in San Miguel de Allende encompasses 64 blocks and includes homes, public squares and such buildings as La Parroquia, a 17th-century cathedral famous for its neo Gothic design. The preservation of the district’s charming ambiance and architectural heritage is the result of a long, ongoing effort by city officials to limit development and maintain strict building codes.

A dedicated team from the CHC traveled to San Miguel de Allende in the Spring of 2011 to begin documentation of the historic areas. Compiling more than 7,000 images of historic San Miguel, the CHC worked on street elevations and other documents for San Miguel.