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 Page updated on 03.10.2015
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Querétaro State is surrounded by Guanajuato State to the west, San Luis Potosí to the north, Hidalgo to the east, Mexico State to the south and Michoacán State to the southeast.
It is a small state (11,769 km2 or 2,908,171 acres). The average altitude is 1820 m (5,971 feet), with an average temperature of 20°C (68°F). It is cool in January and February, warm in April and May. June and August are rain season but it is acceptable (showers in late afternoon). The state has more than 1, 700, 000 inhabitants and the capital, also called Queretaro, had 962, 000 inhabitants in 2007.
It is probably the most beautiful and natural colonial city in the central region of Mexico; Every historic monument has been carefully restored; the plazas regained a decor adapted to their function: the traffic is limited downtown and the stroller can enjoy with delight this colonial city.

Querétaro has been founded in 1446 by the "Indigenas" otomis, who were later subdued by the Chichimec tribes, then the Purépechas and the Aztecs. Then, late 1531, the region has been under the Spanish domination.
Querétaro owes a big part of its charm to two people of the eighteenth century : the architect Eduardo Tresguerras and the Marquis de la Villa del Villar del Águila, its backer. The Marquis provided money and Tresguerras made the plans and built the Aqueduct with 74 arches. This same architect worked on San Francisco Church whose original part dates from 1545 ; he also built Santa Rosa Church. The churches are the most noticeable monuments in Querétaro, which, in no way, lessen the splendid mansions and beautiful plazas that give a noble character to the city. One of the most beautiful plaza is named after the local heroine : Josefa Ortiz, called La Corregidora by the Mexicans because she was the Corregidor’s wife (the Corregidor was the justice of the peace in the city) in 1810. She was the one who started the Independence war.view of Querétaro

Querétaro was living a huge adventure. The Creoles (Spanish born in Mexico) have been manifesting about being treated as second class citizens for a long time. Thinking it was the right time because of the confusion in Europe (the government of the viceroy was reassessed), they used to meet at the "Corregidora"s place to plan their action. The Corregidora explained to his husband that they were talking literature. The "Corregidor" didn’t see any problem with her having a conversation group to kill her spare time; he pretended having his own business to escape to what he took for futile chattering. In this small group of so-called amateurs of literature, there was a young officer of San Miguel called Ignacio Allende, and a priest, Father Michel Hidalgo.

Left picture : view of Querétaro

One day, the plot was discovered. The police know where the rebels met and were ready to surround them.

Even if she was suspected and strictly watched, Doña Josefa sounded the alarm to the plotters of San Miguel and Dolorès. And the war started like this.

Other souvenirs are less exciting : In 1848, the army of American invasion forced the Mexican government to withdraw in Querétaro. Here is where he signed peace, giving up to the USA huge territories from California to Texas. It is also in Querétaro that Emperor Maximilian was executed in 1867.


Archduke, admiral and brother of François-Joseph, the Emperor of Austria, Maximilian was probably only a pawn in a game conspired in Europe, but he was a good man. He accepted the throne of Mexico, called by the reactionary party, the enemies of liberal President Benito Juárez. He tried to escape from this trusteeship. As soon in Mexico, he started a policy of conciliation with Juárez. This one didn’t give a favorable answer and the Emperor, helped with French troops, almost kicked him out of the country. But, in the USA, the Civil War ended, Washington made pressure on France in order to stop the intervention, and Napoleon III, who suspected Maximilian not to obey to any order from Paris, agreed too. So Juárez moved into the attack, with the whole Mexico behind him. The Imperial Government took refuge in Querétaro, where the Emperor, defeated, surrendered himself. Driven into a corner, he was shot in1867.

On the premises of the execution, a small chapel has been built by the Austrian government, not far from the top of the Hill of the Bells. The monument, honoring Benito Juárez, overlooks the hill. Porfirio Díaz was supposed to succeed Benito Juárez but the dictator was overthrown in 1910 by the Mexican Revolution. Seven years later, the members of this revolution chose Querétaro to write the constitution which is, since, the fundamental law in the country.
From Querétaro, you can organize a colonial tour because this region owns a big number of small cities and villages located on the biggest silver vein in Mexico. The Spanish colonies created, during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the mine cities of Zacatecas, Dolorès, San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Aguascalientes and Pachuca.

Access :
The capital of the state, located at 1850 m (6,070 feet) of altitude, is very easily accessible from Mexico City (every hour, a bus links Mexico City to Querétaro). The Highway 57 is an easy way to drive from Mexico City. Querétaro is located 220 km (137 miles) from Mexico City, 365 km (227 miles) from Guadalajara and 153 km (95 miles) from Guanajuato.

El grito mexicano 15/09 a Queretaro
Celebration of the Independence Fair in Querétaro.

The whole country celebrates the famous call for Independence sent by Father Miguel Hidalgo in 1810. The celebration begins on September 15th at 11PM in the Zócalo of every single town of Mexico. The President opens the ceremony from the balcony of the Palacio Nacional, on the Zócalo in Mexico City shouting the same Grito (cry) sent by father Hidalgo to his people.

Querétaro : capital


Practical and useful information

Discovery of the celebrations and traditions

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