Santa Rosalía is a unique Baja town with a personality completely different than your average seaside town. The whole town was once dependent on the large copper mine that, even today, is a highly visible part of Santa Rosalía. Not a resort, in any sense of the word, this unique town is almost always busy and bustling with activity. Production at the ever present mine is presently being resurrected and a large local investment is being made by the mining company.
The principal attraction in Santa Rosalía is the Iglesia de Santa Barbara, a Gothic-inspired structure of galvanized steel designed by Gustave Eiffel (of Eiffel Tower fame) in 1884. It was originally created for the 1889 Paris World Expo, where it was displayed as a prototype for what Eiffel envisioned as a sort of prefab mission. The concept never took off, and the structure was left in a warehouse in Brussels, where it was later discovered and sent to Baja by officials of the mining company. Section by section, the church was transported then reassembled in Santa Rosalía in 1897. Step inside for the full effect of intricate stained-glass windows under a post-industrial arched roof.
Very close to the church, also downtown, is a French bakery, Panadería El Boleo, that travelers and locals alike, seem to be addicted to. The baguettes produced here are supposed to be the best in all of México and the pastries and other bakery items are equally delicious. The bakery has been in constant operation since 1901.
Along with the church, the other site to see is the ex-Fundación del Pacífico (former Foundry of the Pacific), or Museo Histórico Minero de Santa Rosalía (tel. 615/153-0471). In a landmark wooden building overlooking the sea, it houses a permanent display of artifacts from the days of Santa Rosalía's mining operations. Inside the museum building are miniature models of the town, old accounting ledgers and office equipment, and samples of the minerals extracted from local mines.
For more information go to: visitmexico.com