MEXICO Through Harold’s Lens:
The Church of the Immaculate Conception, called Las Monjas (The Nuns) in San Miguel de Allende.
A twelve-sided dome modeled after the Chapel of Les Invalides on the left bank in Paris.
Work on the church began in 1755. The dome was added in 1891.
The statue of the Immaculate Conception sits on the top of the dome.
The convent inside was founded by Dona Maria Josefa Lina de la Canal y Hervas, the eldest daughter of San Miguel de Allende’s wealthiest family.
She was the town’s richest debutante and most eligible bachelorette.
At the age of 16, when her parents died, she petitioned the King of Spain to found a congregation to be known as the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception.
She then donated the land and took her huge inheritance and built a convent to hold 72 nuns.
At her death at the age of 34, Josefa was interred after the most elaborate funeral the town had ever witnessed.
The Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, the same order that founded the convent in 1754, is the same order that resides in the convent today.
The convent originally held 66 cloistered nuns and 6 secular nuns. These 6 nuns would interface with the outside world. Each nun was to bring a dowry of 4000 pesos.
Today Las Monjas still contains a small cloister of active nuns.
Selected “Photograph Of The Week” by the newspaper Atencion, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.