It was the property of Tomas Lopez de Ecala y Baquedano, a mayor of Queretaro who refurbished the façade of his house every now and then, though the negative part of this matter is that he made use of this constant remodelling to appropriate a chunk of the adjacent lots, until one day one of his neighbours sued him.
Besides the sentence of the judge, the parties had agreed on that the loser had to shut close his main balcony, the maximum offence in those times.
The case was won by Don Tomas who, strengthen by his victory, devoted himself to the ornamentation of his house, turning it into one of the most sublime samples of the baroque of the XVIII century in Queretaro, becoming since then a source of inspiration for architects and designers. The façade of the House of Ecala is superbly decorated, with outstanding large windows (one of them shows a delicate rock carving resembling a drape), balconies of cast iron and an elegant doorway.
It is located at one side of the Plaza de Armas.
The dramatic arches of the aquaduct that provided sustinence to this great city for so many years are a source of pride for the locals. The best view point is at the "Mirador" at the end of Independencia.
"I live here!"
What can I say? A picture is worth a thousand words.
Queretaro [Keh-reh-tah-roh] is a cultural and industrial city. Currently about 1 million inhabitants.
What has happened in Querétaro? Lots of history! :
Founded in 1531 in a battle with no weapons! Only bare fists were allowed! Guess the result? A tie!! No winners, no losers. Spaniards, Chichimecs and Otomis agreed to live together!
Aqueduct built in 1736. Not enough water? No problem. Three million rocks are the solution.
Independence spark ignited in 1810. Several patriots often met here for planning the actions. When discovered, the Mayor's wife, Josefa Ortíz sent the message it was time to start the revolt.
The Mexican-American War ended here in 1848, not with cannons but with signatures. By that unfair treaty, Mexico lost Texas, New Mexico and California... :(
Two national Constitutions signed in 1857 and 1917 (current).
French invaders defeated in 1867. They tried to impose an Emperor, Maximilian of Hapsburg, but failed. Here he was captured, judged and executed.
Mexico's capital twice (XIX century).
Remember World Cup Mexico 1986? Four matches were played here: Germany vs Scotland, Ger vs Uruguay, Ger vs Danemark, and Spain vs Danemark. I went to all four.
What will happen in Querétaro in 2010?:
A big celebration! It is Mexico's Independence Bicentennial and the Revolution Centennial.
We were also candidate city to the World Expo 2010, a world-class event (Shanghai will have the honour).
The Aqueduct, our city symbol, has 74 arches and is 1.2 kms long. See more pictures of it in the travelogue! Check it out!!
The Querétaro Fair is every December. See the 2003 edition at the Fair travelogue!
Querétaro City Official Website (has Flash intro, slow) www.mqro.gob.mx
Querétaro State Official Website (somewhat slow) www.queretaro.gob.mx
Cityscape with the Aqueduct in foreground, as seen from the lookout atop a hill.
Read about a spooky legend at Local Custom tips
See my Bernal page, a charming tiny town just an hour from here. It's so different even visitors from outer space come often!