Santiago de Queretaro, or just Queretaro as its known, is a colonial city steeped in Mexican history. The Spanish took control of the city in 1531 and designated it the “third city of New Spain”. It was here where the father’s of Mexico’s Independence Movement met in secret to discuss the overthrow of their Spanish rulers.
Installed by the French in 1864, Emperor Maximilian surrendered here three years later in 1867 after a 100 day siege. He was subsequently executed by firing squad, on an order handed down by Benito Juarez.
Queretaro combines the past with the present, creating an incomparable mixture of history, culture and tradition. The cobblestone streets of the historic center, as well as the numerous temples and plazas, contrast with the modern highways that give access to the city.
Peña de Bernal With 350 meters (1,148 ft) high, 4’000,000 tons and 10’000,000 years old; this monolith, located in the Sierra Gorda of Queretaro, is considered the world’s third largest, after the Gibraltar Rock in Spain and the Sugar Bread in Brazil.
At the foot of the rock, we will find Villa de Bernal, a Magical Town with beautiful portals, cobblestone streets with an irregular layout, taverns, restaurants, handcrafts, traditional food stands, museums and colorful houses.
At this picturesque little town, craftsmen create wool blankets and ponchos used as protection against the wind coming from the sierra mountains; and on the streets, visitors will find quince, guava and peanut candy.
The Convent of the Holy Cross was erected on the Sangremal Hill, which means ”bad blood.” Some 30 seminarians still study in the dark, austere cloisters. Stone and stucco interior patios are sparsely adorned with statues of the convent’s founding priests, and one is filled with what looked like an overgrown tumble weed. The bush, cultivated by the convent’s first priests, grows thorns in the shape of a cross. The convent housed the first missionary college in the Americas, later became a fortress for the retreating Spanish army. Maximilian was jailed there until his execution.
House of the Corregidora. This palatial mansion, whose construction was completed in 1770, was the scene of some very important historical events. After the founding of the city, the mansion hosted the royal houses, a jail, and then later the residence of her Ladyship, Doña Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez, who from this place managed to tell the priest Don Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla that the conspiracy had been discovered.
Cerro de las Campanas (Hill of the Bells) has great historical importance because it was the scene of the struggle between the Republic and the Empire. Austrian Archduke Maximilian of Habsburg, Emperor of Mexico appointed by the Conservatives, was shot here by the General Miguel Miramon and Tomas Mejia. This began the period known as the Restoration of the Republic.
Now the mountain has become a beautiful National Park which has extensive green areas, playgrounds, an artificial lake, a theater and a small museum called The Magic of the Past.
Lost in time, San Sebastian Bernal is little town that has been called “magic” for the beauty of its buildings and its color. The word “bernal” is Arabic for “crag”, in reference to the peak found in this town.
If you walk along these charming little cobblestone streets, you can’t help but fall in love with this place, which feels like it’s from another time. It is home to unique handicrafts and 18th Century buildings. The landscape is filled with symbols, legends, history and beauty. In September 2006, it was named “Pueblo Magico” (Magic Town) by the Mexican Department of Tourism.
The Historic Center of Queretaro is quite remarkable in maintaining the old colonial architecture and street plan side by side with the twisting alleys of Indian quarters. All this history is peppered with modern hotels, shops, and restaurants. The Otomi, the Tarasco, the Chichimeca and the Spanish settlers lived together harmoniously in the town, which stands out for the many ornate civil and religious Baroque monuments from its golden age in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Queretaro aqueduct Its construction was the most important urban works of the eighteenth century. It was made possible by the economic contribution of Don Juan Antonio de Urrutia y Arana, Marques de la Villa del Villar del Aguila, who found a way to channel water to the city of Santiago de Querétaro.
At the time, supplying the vital liquid was one of the city’s most serious problems. Legend has it that Marques offered it as proof of love for a nun named Sister Marcela Nasturtium. The 74 pink stone arches measures 1,280 m in length and its height reaches 23 m.
Queretaro in Cheese and Wine.
Be amazed as you explore the vineyards in the semi-desert of the state of Queretaro where, although it might seem impossible for vines to grow due to the conditions of the land, you’ll be astounded to find that this is indeed possible as you visit the area.
This route is a delight to the palate and the senses, you will taste and savor the fine wine and delicious Mexican goat cheese, cow and sheep worldwide fame.
• Hotel accommodation
• All the tours in the region
• Certified tour guide
• Entrance Fees
• Plaza de los fundadores
• The aqueduct
• El mirador
• Santa Cruz convent
• Constitution plaza
• Casa de la corregidora
• Bellas artes
• Republic teathre
• Campanas hill
• Casa de la marquesa
• And much more