COLONIAL CITIES: QUERETARO - SAN MIQUEL DE ALLENDE - QUANAJUATO
September 2003

[Jim and Robin with Joanne in Querétaro]

One of our favorite cities in Mexico is Querétaro, a large city, both colonial and modern, in central Mexico about 120 miles north east of Mexico City. The early colonial city became a center of agriculture, trade and religion. Judging by the elegant architecture found throughout the city and especially in its public plazas, the city was one of the most prosperous in Mexico. The city, the capital of the state of Querétaro, has taken steps to maintain its heritage. The surrounding 20th century city is among one of the most well run in Mexico, clean, safe and easy to negotiate. Many large businesses, Mexican and American moved to Querétaro after the massive earthquake in Mexico City in the mid eighties.

The Plaza de Armas, also called the Plaza de la Independencia, has a wonderful fountain adorned with dogs and is a tribute to Don Juan Antoinio Urrutia who built the large aquaducts that serve the city. The Governor’s Place, La Corregidora, was once the home of a heroine of the Mexican Revolution of 1810. The elegant stone and wrought iron work on the Casa de Ecala dates from the 18th Century and

[Plaza des Armes: Governor's Palace] [Plaza des Armes: Fountain] [Plaza des Armes: Casa de Ecala]

We stayed at the old Meson de Santa Rosa on this same square. Jim and I had the room pictured here on the second floor with the wonderful view across the pool. We traveled with Joanne Golodwater who had a room in the rear of the courtyard.

[Meso Santa Rosa] [Meson Santa Rosa Courtyard] [Joanne Goldwater]

The city has closed many of its old downtown streets and made them pedestrian passages. They are adorned by statues and fountains including one honoring the indigenous peoples in the area another celebrating the mayor’s wife, La Corregidora, heroine of the 1810 War of Independence.

[Pedestrian Street] [Statue of Indigenous Person] [La Corregidora Statue]

Other famous sites in the Centro include the Teatro de Republica, the San Francisco Church next to the Regional Museum, and the most elegant inn in town, La Casa de la Marquesa, built by a Spanish Marquis for his wife.

[Teatro Republica] [San Francisco Church] [Casa de la Marquesa]

We took a bus tour of the city the next day to see the 74 arches of the old aqueduct built in the 1730s to serve the water needs of the growing city. The aqueduct supplied water to many fountains throughout the city where the people came to collect it. A little boy on the bus tour wanted his picture taken.

[Aqueduct] [Fountain Circle] [Boy on Bus]

We posed with Joanne on a hill overlooking the aqueduct showing the city spreading out beyond.

[Jim, Joanne, Robin]

Next we drove over to famous San Miquel de Allende, an old gold town that is also popular with ex patriots and artists since after the Second World War. Originally, we planned to make our home here, but finally decided on the Lake Chapala area. The famous La Parroquia Church was designed by a native untrained architect and is the center of the town, across from El Jardin, a favorite meeting places for Mexicans and ex pats. The many colorful side streets in town are famous for their fine colonial homes.

[La Parroquia in San Miguel] [Street Scene in San Miguel] [Street Scene in San Miguel]

Then we ended our three day tour in the delightful city of Guanajuato capital of the State of Guanajuato and home of the University of Guanajuato. The view from our hotel room gives a flavor of the colorful homes that cover the steep hillsides of the town. We visited a friend of Joanne’s in neighboring Marfil who has recently rebuilt an ancient hacienda on the river. We ate “comida” (lunch) in another old hacienda restaurant next door.

[Guanajuato from Hotel] [Hacienda Marfil] [Comida at Hacienda]

A gracious ending to a fun-packed three day journey.

LINKS TO QUERETARO, SAN MIGUEL AND GUANAJUATO SITES:

MexConnect.com on Queretaro
Mexperience Photo Pages
Mexican Wave on Queretaro
All About San Miguel de Allende
MexConnect.com on San Miguel
MexConnect.com on Guanajuato
About Guanajuato

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