Thursday, June 28, 2007

A Beautiful City

It's Fun Friday once again, when we can make our rounds and see what kind of surprises our fellow bloggers are sharing with us today! Be sure to sign the list on MR. LINKY over at
Kelli's House.

Queretaro, Mexico

A colonial city well preserved!
This week, I'd like to give you a little glimpse of the city where my husband and I met and were married. I guess it has been on my mind tonight because that is where my hubby is right now. He and Shane flew out Thursday morning and arrived there safely around 2:30p.m. His brother and parents met them at the airport in Mexico City. They had a 2 1/2hour drive to Queretaro. I spoke with Agustin and Shane on the phone around 8 p.m. Thursday evening. Their trip went very smoothly and they were blessed with a "green light" in customs, which means they didn't have to open their suitcases for inspection! YIPPEE! Not that they wouldn't have passed inspection, mind you, but it's such an annoyance when all you want to do is see your family members who are waiting for you on the other side of that wall!

The State of Queretaro is located in the heart of Mexico, just two hours away from Mexico City and its a treasure chest awaiting to be discovered.
Querétaro was founded in 1531 by Franciscan monks.
Driving through the outskirts of Queretaro, one notices all the trappings of a middle-class, industrial Mexican city. Familiar names such as Price Club, Holiday Inn and Kentucky Fried Chicken beckon from the side of the modern highway.

Tourists en route from Mexico City to the popular colonial towns of San Miguel de Allende and Guadalajara might be tempted to bypass this hive of commerce. But the wise ones will plunge in, knowing that the center of Queretaro itself is a colonial gem.

Colonial Queretaro retained the twisting alleys of its old Indian quarter side by side with the 16th century geometric street plan of its Spanish conquerors. The Otomi, Tarasco and Chichimeca lived peacefully with the Spaniards in the old town through the 17th and 18th centuries, when many outstanding civil and religious structures were built. During the 19th century, quiet Queretaro found itself in the midst of Mexico’s struggle for independence.
For these reasons, the Historic Monuments Zone of Queretaro was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.

Queretaro State is one of the smallest in extension in Mexico with a population of approximately 1'404,306 inhabitants, since its greatness rests so much in architecture, as its wealth in historical facts, its beautiful spots, its thermal waters and curative, large heights to escalate and also caverns to descend and explore.

Queretaro limits to three rivers: the Santa MarĂ­a de Acapulco, the Moctezuma and the Lerma.

The Queretaro name originates of the "Tarasco" and originally of QUERETAPARAZICUYO or YCHAHTZICUYO, that to be abridged remain in Queretaro that it means "Game of Ball". There are other versions that assure that the name originates of Querenda "Stone large or rock"; or of Querendaro "Place or large stones people or cliffs".

With agricultural and livestock farming industries, the state of Queretaro has a largely growing rate of industrial development, and a gateway to the northern, central and southern regions of Mexico.

Its fast industrial development contrasts with the great beauty of its capital city, the historic downtown areas of which were declared Heritage of Mankind by the UNESCO.

Its excellent geographic location helped Queretaro to be the scene of most important chapters of Mexican history.

The Queretaro climate is a gift for the lovers of the nature. Within territory is changing for the variety of heights on the level of the sea.

Symbolic of Queretaro is its Aqueduct, considered one of the great civil engineering feats in North America. Begun in 1726 and finished in 1738, it has 74 massive stone arches that stretch for six miles along the Avenida de los Arcos to the eastern edge of the colonial center. When it was built, the Aqueduct made it possible for the residents of Queretaro to enjoy many public and private fountains, and it still carries water into the city.

One of the many churches in the downtown area. I LOVE the colors!

Cathedral of Santiago

A typical scene in one of the MANY parks downtown.

On a guided tour of "Convento de la Santa Cruz", visitors can see a clay pipe system developed to receive water from the Aqueduct and distribute it throughout the monastery.

Established in the 16th century, Convento de la Santa Cruz stands on a former battleground atop a hill overlooking the old town, where the apparition of St. James on horseback convinced Otomi Indians to surrender to the conquistadors. Other miracles associated with the site include trees with cross-shaped thorns grown from a cane stuck in the ground by pious friar Antonio Margil de Jesus in 1697.
By the end of the 17th century, Convento de la Santa Cruz operated the first Catholic missionary school in the Americas, and it continues to serve as a religious school today.
The monastery also functioned as a fortress when forces loyal to Emperor Maximilian occupied it near the end of the Mexican War of Independence. Maximilian used it as his headquarters from February to May 1867. After his surrender and subsequent death sentence, he was confined at Convento de la Santa Cruz while he awaited the firing squad. While on the tour, you can enter the room where he was held prisoner. It was quite an experience for me to see the very bed, chair, and table he used!

Entrance to one of our favorite restaurants

Interior of the restaurant at Hotel REAL D MINES

Independence Square

At the top of these stairs is a darling little chapel. This is on property of the large University in Queretaro, On the right is a typical colonial style building. I believe our post office was in the downstairs of this particular building.

I hope you enjoyed this abbreviated tour of a beautiful, old city!


luvvom said...

Those are beautiful pictures! I was to Mexico once when I was about nine. People were always grabbing my white-blond hair! LOL!

Tracy said...

What a lovely city! Thank you for sharing its history, Pam!

Kim said...

Very pretty I'm getting ready to paint my kitchen the colors of one of those buildings. Red and yellow.

Penless Thoughts said...

Enjoyed the history and the architecture. I so enjoy learning about history of a place and touring beautiful buildings.

Karen said...

HI Pam,
Your photos of Queretaro, Mexico are spectacular. I am particularly intrigued with the aqueduct, and the churches, cathedrals...
I hope that you husband and son enjoy and return safely.
Best wishes,

ellen b said...

What a beautiful city. We miss alot staying in the typical touristy spots, don't we? thanks for showing us that there is so much worth seeing in Mexico...

LBP said...

Beautiful Photos! Thanks for sharing.

jennifer said...

Romantic city! I love this sharing, and I am missing your hubby and son too! I am a sympathetic misser!!

I think that this is very neat and I feel an inspiration for a post!

Lana G! said...

Going to be adding this spot to the travel list thank you, thank you!

Love it!

Lyndy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lyndy said...

What a beautiful city and such history too.

Thanks for sharing and have a blessed weekend.


PS Glad your boys got there safely.

Rose Mary said...

What a beautiful place! Thanks for sharing it with us. Hope they are home soon.

Have a great weekend~!

Anita said...

Thanks a lot for this little trip to Mexico!

Yes, Kelli's Show and Tell Fridays are always fun, I love doing a blogging tour all around the world and admire what other people have to share!

Best wishes from Germany,

Tiany said...

What an amazing city! I have never been but it sounds wonderful!!!

Praying for you hubby and son to have a safe trip and a safe return!

Mrs. C said...

Thank so much for the tour of a city that is close to your heart. I hope your hubby and son have a fun, safe trip. I'm sure you're really missing them!:)

Ashley said...

How beautiful! Makes me really want to go there! Mexico and Italy are the two places I want to go most! I can't wait to go there some day hopefully!

Webutante said...

Beautiful tour! Keep us posted on Rita's arrival tomorrow.

Barbara H. said...

It looks beautiful! Too bad you couldn't go along this time!

Kelli said...

What a wonderful city, Pam and I really enjoyed the history lesson! All the pictures are beautiful!!

Lori B said...

I did enjoy the tour.
Thanks for sharing all of the pictures with us.

You have a wonderful weekend!

Kelley said...

Thank you for sharing this beautiful city with us!
We have gone to Mexico with our church to help with an orphanage and I didn't realize how beautiful Mexico was!
Have a blessed weekend!

Betty said...

Pam,I've never been to Mexico so thank you taking me on a is beautiful........

Thanks for visiting with me and commenting...please come again....Betty

Mishel said...

Wow! This was very cool to read! And I enjoyed the pictures too! But I was waiting to hear how you and Agustin met in this beautiful city. Did I miss it somewhere else on your blog??

I am glad your guys made it safely. And don't have too much fun this week getting to do "what you want when you want". : )

Thank you too, for your comment on my recent entry--I enjoyed it muchly! Hugs to you!!

Beach Girl said...

Thank you for the tour!


Sheri said...

Thank you for that wonderful picture tour!!! I so enjoyed it and learning about this special place in your life Pam.

Mizz E said...

"But the wise ones will plunge in, knowing that the center of Queretaro itself is a colonial gem."

True and true. The old colonial gem part too :)

And the people are so amable, y comida deliciosa. Look forward to a follow up post about the trip and Rita.