San Blas Sightseeing, Mexico Pacific Coast Village, Nayarit
On a bronze panel at the
lower left side of the church
pictured left, a fragment of
a poem by Henry Wadsworth
Longfellow tells of an
interesting connection between
the 1800s American Poet and
the village of San Blas.
A travel article in Harpers
Magazine about abandoned
church bells in San Blas
inspired Longfellow to write
his last poem.
The Bells of San Blas.
San Blas might be a tiny fishing village but it has a lot of history and has seen many changes. A short walk or ride around town will presents the visitor with many remnants of that history.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow had a San Blas connection. Although he never visited San Blas, he traveled extensively in Europe, he wrote a memorable poem about San Blas.
. He was a celebrated poet by the mid 1800s due in part to his poem, Evangeline, and Paul Revere's Ride. His poem The Bells of San Blas, written in 1882, was his last poem, written on his death bed. He wrote about San Blas and its bells, to him, the symbols of a changing world.
San Blas was founded 1768 as a boat building center because of its harbor and its surrounding hardwood forests.
The bells of Longfellow's poem once hung in the belfry of the church pictured right, now a ruin on a hill to the left as you enter the town of San Blas.
For a time the bells hung from a crude wooden scaffold at the base of a humble church that had no tower. They were then moved into the belfry of the church in the center of town.
You can visit the church where the bells once hung, first in the tower of the church and then from a lowly wooden scaffold when the church was abandoned..
The 1761 Church of Our Lady of the Rosary. The bells once hung on the belfry of the church.
Junipero Serra had a boat built of the local timber and christened it Purisima Conception. He sailed from Matanchen Bay in March of 1786, bound for California to build mission churches.
The International Festival of Migratory Birds held in late January attracts international birdwatchers.
By 1872, commercial shipping had ended in San Blas. The trade shifted south to Manzanillo and Acapulco, ports with deep harbors. Ships for the Asian trade were being built in the Phillipines where teak was plentiful. San Blas had lost its economy; the church was abandoned.
From the same hill where the abandoned church stands, the remains of a Spanish fort with a strategic view of the harbor is a reminder of the days when pirates prowled the coast looking for merchant ships loaded with trade goods that would sail to and from the Phillipines.
The Church where the bells first hung.
San Blas Sightseeing, Mexico Pacific Coast Village, Nayarit reveals much history and an interesting Longfellow Connection