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
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.
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
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
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
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
Aguascalientes and Pachuca.
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
is located 220 km (137 miles) from Mexico
City, 365 km (227 miles) from Guadalajara
and 153 km (95 miles) from Guanajuato.
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