The chessboard-like city combines Spanish and local architectural styles. Examples are the baroque monasteries of Santa Rosa and Santa Clara as well as the Plaza de Armas with its magnificent buildings. The city’s historic 9 km long aqueduct is still in use today.
Querétaro monument ensemble: facts
|Official title:||Querétaro monument ensemble|
|Cultural monument:||actually Santiago de Querétaro, including the churches of Santa Rosa, Las Teresas and San Agustín, the Franciscan Convent, the Cathedral of San Felipe Neri, the Casa de la Marquesa, Casa de la Corregidora, Casa de los Condes de Ecala and the 1.28 km long aqueduct (1726-38)|
|Location:||Querétaro, northwest of Mexico|
|Meaning:||partly checkerboard-like urban layout with a mixture of Spanish and local architecture|
Querétaro monument ensemble: history
|1551||Completion of the Camino Real de la Tierra Adentro|
|1655||Granted city rights by Philip IV (1605-65) of Spain|
|1683||Establishment of the Convento de Santa Cruz de los Milagros|
|1692||Founding of the Dominican monastery|
|1721||Founding of the Capuchin monastery|
|1721-26||Construction of the Casa de la Marquesa|
|1752||Completion of the Church of Santa Rosa de Viterbo|
|1786-1805||Construction of the cathedral|
|1810||with the famous “Grito de Dolores” start of the independence struggle|
|1867||Execution of the Emperor Maximilian von Habsburg|
|1917||Meeting of the Constituent Assembly in the Teatro de la República, formerly Teatro Iturbide (built 1845-52)|
|1939||Emigration of the journalist Egon Erwin Kisch (1885-1948) to Mexico and|
|1945||Publication of Kisch’s “Discoveries in Mexico”|
Colonial monasteries and palaces
After sunset, the flower-filled plaza fills up. Three honorable gentlemen bow in the music pavilion and begin their concert. According to mathgeneral, Mexican songs about love, passion and death fill the cobblestone streets and invade the venerable walls of the monasteries and palaces in the area without respect. Melancholy and lust for life – not a contradiction in terms for Mexicans – shape the atmosphere in the city steeped in history.
As early as 1531, the settlement founded by the Otomí Indians came into the possession of the Spanish king. More than a century later, King Philip IV gave it the title of “very noble and loyal city of Santiago de Querétaro”. The well-traveled Czech journalist Egon Erwin Kisch, who wrote in German and made a name for himself with the book “Der raging Reporter”, devoted himself to the city to which the “muse of history always returns” when he did his “Discoveries in Mexico” wrote.
The domes of the Convento San Francisco are visible from afar. The ensemble of church and monastery, which dates back to the early 16th century and is located east of Plaza Obregên, now houses an important museum with pre-Columbian excavations and exhibits on the city’s history. A flower-filled alley leads to the Plaza de la Independencia – also called Plaza de la Constituciên. This quiet place is the heart of the city, which is surrounded by the most splendid colonial buildings. One of these is the baroque Casa de los Condes de Ecala, which was once inhabited by the councilor Don Tomás de Ecala. The facade of the house, built from the precious Aledano stone found in Querétaro, has arcades supported by Ionic columns.
At the front of the square is the Casa de la Corregidora, where Doña Josefa Ortíz de Domínguez lived in 1810. The mayor’s wife belonged to a group of conspirators who planned the uprising against the Spanish crown. And it was only thanks to her that the struggle for independence, threatened by traitors, began three weeks earlier than planned. When the conspiracy was about to be discovered, she sent a warning to Father Miguel Hidalgo, who then announced the beginning of the uprising from the pulpit in the nearby town of Dolores and sounded the bells as a sign of uprising. Every year on September 15th, the anniversary of the momentous appeal, the mayor of the city steps on the balcony of the house and repeats the words of the Father: “Long live Mexico, long live the Virgin of Guadalupe”! The palace,
The former Augustinian monastery, a late baroque gem with a beautiful cloister, restored fountain and ornate columns, served as soldiers’ quarters at the time of Mexican President Benito Juárez, which has significantly damaged the historical building. Between two picturesque plazas you come across the church of Santa Clara. Its sober appearance does not suggest that the elaborate, ornamentally overloaded churrigueresque style of the church interior makes this church a jewel of sacred art in the central highlands of Mexico.
Also great is the colonial aqueduct with 74 arches, through which drinking water was drawn into the city for two centuries and which ends at the extensive Convento de la Cruz. When looking at the Convento de Capuchinos it becomes clear that the Spanish gentlemen initially subjugated the residents of the New World with the sword: the stone sculpture of a Spanish knight, on horseback and protected by a round shield with a cross, stretches out with the sword Locals settled down.