Mexico/Baja Sur: Santa Rosalia

Santa Rosalia doesn’t look like a typical Mexican town, but rather it has a French Caribbean feel with wooden houses and overhanging balconies. The French mining company El Boleo founded the town in 1884 and built extensive copper mining operation here. The grid town layout and the housing architecture was very similar to a typical colonial French style of Guadeloupe or Martinique or any other French Caribbean island – a lot of wood, balconies, large windows. The French even brought in a prefab iron church from France – Iglesia de Santa Barbara – designed by none other then Gustavo Eiffel, the architect of the famous Paris Tower. Besides the church, there are several other attractions like a grand Palacio Municipal, Museum of Mining, and lots of old abandoned mining and railroad equipment.