Most visitors to the historic pueblo of Dolores Hidalgo, north of San Miguel de Allende, go to see the magnificent baroque parish church (see our previous post) or the former town house of Miguel Hidalgo, the father of Mexican Independence, now a museum.
However another outstanding monument in Dolores is its late colonial Casa de Visitas.
La Casa de Visitas
This arcaded former mansion for visiting royal officials, also known as La Casa del Subdelegado, is one of the most elegant civil buildings in the region. Constructed from the same roseate stone as the church, the palace was completed in 1786 according to a plaque above the center archway. Stylistically, its long front favors the geometrical mode of the late baroque Churrigueresque—although less exuberant than the church.
Six lobed arches spring from square piers to form the street level arcade. On the second level, five large French windows, each capped by an ornate scrolled pediment, are placed over the piers, opening onto handsome corbelled balconies with lambrequin pendants.
A prominent beaded cornice, punctuated by hooded cartouches, runs the length of the building, sweeping upwards into a highly ornate mixtilinear gable over the center window. A balustrade of omega-shaped banisters supports the surmounting parapet.
By contrast, the interior patio of plain arcades and classical doorway is rather modest.
text and images © 2020 Richard D. Perry