They’re romantic and nostalgic, both beautiful and functional. And you can find one in the center of almost every town or city’s central square here in Mexico.

Known as a kiosko — or glorieta, mirador, or carpa — in Spanish, the gazebo is a charming focal point, a setting for weddings and concerts, a gathering spot, the heart of parks and gardens – not only here but worldwide.

The beautiful gazebo in SMA’s central Jardin yesterday
The gazebo in Parque Juarez in SMA yesterday
My recent quick sketch of the gazebo in Parque Juarez
The gazebo in the nearby town of Mineral de Pozos

In my research yesterday I learned that the oldest archaeological discoveries of gazebos date back 5,000 years to Ancient Egypt. The Egyptians believed their gardens were earthly paradises, and when they died their gardens and gazebos would follow them on their journey to heaven.

Since that time this style of building – a freestanding outdoor roofed structure with open sides, typically used for relaxation or entertainment – seems to have developed independently everywhere, from Japanese tea houses to Roman summerhouses and ornate Persian gardens.

During the Middle Ages gazebos were popular throughout Europe. But it wasn’t until the 18thcentury that gazebos gained popularity in Europe and became well known in the United States. Today personal and public gazebos, in a wide variety of sizes, styles, and designs, can be found in backyards, gardens, and parks all over the world.

Needless to say, I’m charmed by gazebos. They’ve always evoked for me mental images of 19thcentury French Impressionist paintings of gauzy, languorous, bygone times. But here in San Miguel de Allende, I can admire the gazebos in the Jardin and park whenever I wish; their charm remains timeless.

One of the things I loved most about the apartment here in San Miguel, which I’m moving out of today, is the gazebo I bought (on sale at the Home Depot in nearby Celaya) and placed on my terrace, surrounded by potted flowering plants and palms. I hung several hummingbird feeders from it, too, so my terrace became something of a hummingbird hangout, with dozens of these, my favorite birds, whizzing all around, especially at feeding time. What joy! I called it my paraíso (paradise).

Mi paraiso

It was particularly wrenching to have to disassemble it all when my duena’s errant husband returned from wherever he’d been for over a year and insisted on reclaiming the space I’ve been renting. Bye, bye paradise!

But life, as we the living learn each day we wake up, goes on. My little gazebo, in countless pieces, is in storage now, along with most of my other belongings. I’ll be staying with a friend for the next several months, while I decide what to do and where to go next. I’m optimistic that my next “home” will have a terrace big enough to accommodate my favorite gazebo in the world.

20 thoughts on “Gazebos”

  1. Hello Bonnie. You’ll make a lovely Paraiso wherever you settle next. I expect you have left Jaime Nuno but I am nearby as you know and we could meet here or at Fabrica (Geek and coffee) when suitable for you. Sending positive vibes, good wishes and love Marilyn

    1. I can feel your positive vibes, dear Marilyn! Thank you for them and for your kind and encouraging words. Yes, let’s “do” coffee (or something) one of these October days. I assume you’re back from your trip?

  2. Beautiful piece, Bonnie. You have sure lived a life of love and loss, haven’t you? I am so sorry you had to lose your perfect apartment and especially your gazebo and lovely jardin. I’m glad I got to see it in person. I salute you, Queen of Resilience. Much love to you on this next journey. xoxo

    1. Thank you, dearest Be! What is it that they say, “We either bounce or break”? I’m in my friend Nancy’s spare bedroom now and thankful to be here. Vamos a ver what God has up her puffy sleeve for my immediate future. 🙂

      1. I hope you’ll be at home there, BonnieDear. And what happened to the worms? Did they find a home, too? I loved your God with puffy sleeves!

  3. Dear Bon,

    What beautiful gazebos, and the one you have in SMA is out of a storybook. By the time you read this, you will have already moved. I hope it went well and you are resting up. At least it’s over. I am hoping and praying your next apartment has a terrace big enough for two gazebos.


    1. Thank you, dearest Paul. Yes, you’re so right — gazebos do look like they belong in storybooks, don’t they. The move yesterday went smoothly, I’m happy to report. And I am resting up. Hope your new semester is going well and you are doing fine. — xx

  4. My hear & thoughts are with you during this rocky time. You always rise above the ashes & you will find yourself in another lovely place & make it home. Love you, girl! Stay safe. Xoxo

  5. Delighted to read this piece, and happy to learn more about the history of gazebos. As a fellow member of the SMA Urban Sketchers, I enjoyed watching your Parque Juarez sketch develop.

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