San Miguel became an important military and commercial site by the mid 16th century when silver was discovered in Zacatecas. The town was a melting pot, first for Spanish and indigenous peoples, and later for other European settlers too. Major roads connected San Miguel with the mining communities, Mexico City, and the rest of the state of Guanajuato, serving travelers’ needs and providing supplies. In particular, the textile industry flourished. Locals claim San Miguel is the birthplace of the serape.
Wealth from San Miguel’s crossroads status brought a rise in Baroque and Neoclassical architecture, including many mansions, government buildings, churches, and cathedrals. The beauty and charm of the city still bring San Miguel many visitors.