Mexico/Guanajuato: Sanctuary of Atotonilco

Sanctuary of Atotonilco is a UNESCO World Heritage site complex in the tiny village of Atotonilco north of San Miguel de Allende. It was built in the 18th century by Father Luis Felipe Neri de Alfaro, who (as it often happens with priests) saw a vision of Jesus with a crown of thorns. The complex included a white-washed church and a red bell tower, beautiful but by no means extraordinary on the inside. But the interior of this sanctuary is beyond amazing and is known as the “Sistine Chapel of Mexico”. The nave and chapels are covered by exquisitely elaborate murals in the Mexican baroque style that took 30 years to paint. It’s not just a couple murals or a painting or two – absolutely every inch of the ceilings, walls, cupola, window frames, even wooden doors are printed with frescoes! The entire bible story is being told here, frame by frame! An absolutely stunning and amazing site, and although it was partially closed and limited for access, it was still beyond awe inspiring – the same feeling you have at the Vatican!