A GHOST TOWN: Mineral de Pozos
Mineral de Pozos is a 16th century ghost town an hour’s drive away from San Miguel de Allende, in the state of Guanajuato, Mexico. Once a major silver and gold mining center with a population at its zenith of 77,000, it gradually fell into obscurity in the 20th century and was virtually abandoned.
Los Cinco Senores, a vast 18th century hacienda complex out in the campo testifies to this. While many limestone walls still stand, most of the roofs have disappeared — the royal blue sky making for a living church ceiling. Scrub grasses grow wild and cacti dot what were once elegant courtyards. Only a few trees stand. However, this hacienda’s statuesque beauty remains, making it all the more haunting and mysterious.
In a strange sort of way both the rugged landscape, Islamic-style architecture and stone transported me back to Turkey where in July we visited a “caravanserai” near Konya, Rumi’s home on the Silk Road till his passing. Caravanserais made for roadside inns where travelers could rest and recover from the day’s journey. The large inner courtyard was open to the sky allowing in animals such as camels to graze. As it turned out on this windy and cool day animals would also be grazing in this Mexican hacienda.
In 2012, Mineral de Pozos was declared a “Pueblo Mágico”. From this pueblo now experiencing a small renaissance, with a few B & Bs, art galleries, small shops selling musical instruments and crystal geodes, we made our way along dirt roads to both a mine and a deserted hacienda during sunset. Little did we know that it would also be the site of a wedding photo shoot. Soon thereafter, a small herd of goats was released from a corral at the entrance. First the herder headed to a lone mesquite tree, shook it vigorously, producing a yummy snack of leaves for the animals. Satisfied they were soon wandering throughout the courtyards and became part of the photo shoot. The finacés chose to ignore them; the animals were contentedly curious.
Back to nature…