La Casa de la Marquesa is a classic mansion featuring handpainted murals, is a colonial jewel with great architectural value. Is comprised of 2 houses; La Casa de la Marquesa that dates back to the 18th century and La Casa Real, built in the 1900s. Bothof these colonial treasures are separated by a small street in the heart of downtown Santiagao Queretaro. Originally founded in 1531 and today listed as one of UNESCO's World Heritages Sites.
- Check my photos, and consider that this photos don't make justice to the real beauty of the place. It's a lot better that it could look.
It is Querétaro a beautiful city where 74 archs of the Acueduct rise, erected by the iniciative of the Marqués de la Villa del Villar del Aguila in 1726; a city where tourism will always be welcome, becoming without a doubt, one of the most enriching destinations of México.
Plaza de Armas was a market in the early eighteenth century. In 1886 it was transformed in to a public square. In the center of the square there is a statue in honor of the Marquez de la Villa del Villar del Aguila who built the archs acueduct, just to provide water for his Love`s house. This square is located in front of the government palace. On it, the tourism office of the economic development secretary organizes an open air show named Saturdays of Queretaro where artists dance, sing and give free performances for people of the city and visitors.
Esta monumental obra civil que consta de 74 arcos impresionantes, fue construida entre 1726 y 1738 . La arquería del Acueducto mide 1,280 metros de longitud, y corre el caño sobre la arquería a una altura máxima de 23 metros. En aquel tiempo uno de los más graves males que aquejaban a la ciudad, era la falta de agua potable, lo cual producía enfermedades hídricas muy serias que provocaban muchas muertes. Fue entonces con este acueducto como la hermana agua, limpia, pura y clara, como habla de ella San Francisco de Asís en su célebre Canto al Hermano Sol, llegó a nuestra prócer ciudad.
Okay, after you have OD'd on tacos, tortas and the mundane Mexican fare (sorry, but it IS) take yourself down to Avenida de los Arcos (Aquaductos) and try out these spots: Summo (I think its called) It is a BRIGHT RED decorated restaurant that offers, salads, seafood, steak and spicy Thai noodles with chicken! The cute owner runs from table to table visiting his guests. Also check out, mod bar Soleo. It blasts Eurpean style lounge music (a welcome change from 80s pop and polka) and is located on the 2nd floor of a catering business. The bar/restaurant has open window views of Querétaro at night. I had several drinks and an appetizer which were ALL good.
Harry's Bar in downtown Queretaro (el centro) serves up a cheeseburger with coleslaw (that was mediocre) but the mojitos were OUTSTANDING. They also have crabcakes, chicken wings and other American fare on the menu.
I'll add more at a later date.
Not well sign posted if walking and quite a walk from the center, but can be done. The park surrounding the statue is absolutely lovely. The Monument is enormous. Overall, definitly worth it if you have the time, but not a "must see" if you're only in town a day or two. Just a few pesos admission.
The tourist office is on this plaza, as well as the well known Meson De Santa Rosa. Restaurants include the pricey 1810. We rarely saw much excitement here. Although it is geographically the center of the center and all the andodores converge here, it always appeared fairly quiet.
Andodores are pedestrian only streets in the immediate historic center. Sections of them are set up with very organized system of cart sellers, as well as a myriad of shops and restaurants. The carts are all uniform, exactly the same, but give a good appearance. The andodores are lined with fountains and statues on cobblestone walkways. Often family type performers are there for hours. It appears that they are paid for by the city. At no time did we see a street performer pass a hat or accept money from anyone. Why don't they do that here? (In the U.S.)
Very impressive architecture. If you only go to a few churches here, this should be one. There is a beautiful plaza in front of the church.
From an article by Toni Dabbs called "Queretaro, Mexico
A colonial gem in a modern setting:"
Templo de Santa Rosa de Viterbo, a tall and stately church completed in 1752, is considered the crowning achievement of Ignacio Mariano de las Casas, an architect who left his mark throughout Queretaro. The unusual design incorporates inverted flying buttresses, each decorated with an impish mask sticking out its tongue.
Its interior is a Churrigueresque showcase, including: superbly carved retablos and confessional; pulpit inlaid with silver, ebony and ivory; life-size figures of the apostles at the Last Supper; Baroque organ, built in 1759 and still in use; and mural by Tresguerras depicting St. Rose of Viterbo surrounded by her nuns.
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.
We really enjoyed this tour. They provide tours in English. Ours was given by a resident American priest who was very informative. It was never a convent for nuns. It is an active seminary for priests. The architecture is interesting, especially insights on how the water was fed in to the place from the aqueduct, also the thorn bushes that grow thorns in the shape of a bush. A few interesting art pieces.
No admission fee, donations encouraged
A bit of the history from an article by Toni Dabbs called "Queretaro, Mexico:
A colonial gem in a modern setting" :
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.
Historic home with a mystery involving a wealthy merchant who made a phrophecy that he would die in something like 21 years and did, some say along with his daughter who he had an incestuos relationship with. You cannot go inside. It is now the Department of Education.
Welcome to the "food court" - not really, but about 9 restaurants line the circumfrence of this lively plaza. It is always busy as it is the start of Andodore (Pedestrian walkway) 16 de September that connects it to Plaza de Armas. There is usually free entertainment at night, family type entertainers, performance art, acrobatics, and the like, very entertaining though! Sitting in any of the restaurants in this plaza and watching the local crowds is entertaining it itself.
There is always something going on in this plaza. One day we saw a big competition of some kind of high school ?color guards. The competition included students from at least 10 schools with a board of official judges. It was very interesting. Another day we sat to enjoy what seemed to be a large group of musicians, as more people came we realized it was a huge religious group, mainly getting together to sing, at least 250 in all. Two coffee shops are on this plaza. I frequented El Naranjo, with it's pricey, but delicious cappacino, at 25 Pesos. Edelweiss across the street has wonderful pasteries as well, but no outdoor seating.
This is the central Plaza in Queretaro. Let me just say though, it is just one of many very lively plazas in the city. There is literally always something going on here. In the evenings there is always free entertaininment that comes in many forms. All day on Saturday and Sunday there are performers. On Thursday and Saturday night they had big bands playing basically ballroom music for public dancing in the park - Literally hundreds of people walzting and fox trotting under the stars in the beautiful gardens. The bandstand was covered with scaffolding during our visit, but it didn't stop the music. I would really urge people to spend time in the area, enjoying the "culture" of the plaza. It's all home grown, filled with upper-middle class Mexicans enjoying their city, very much family entertainment with kids everywhere till all hours of the night. At the same time extremely safe.
Una curiosidad de su arquitectura son sus dos botareles invertidos (me refiero a los arcos enroscados que se apoyan al lado derecho de la entrada principal), que según dicen se colocaron para salvaguardar un posible desplome de la cúpula –una de las más bellas, altas y opulentas de esta ciudad- por la debilidad de los muros; pero como el constructor no estaba de acuerdo con esto, optó por adornarlos con los “mascarones del rostro burlón” y así manifestar su inconformidad. Otra versión es que en este atrio se presentaban pantomimas, coloquios y obras clásicas, así que esas máscaras eran un símbolo teatral