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A tempting City for its impacting architectonic legacy. A lavish display of the past on elegant streets guarded by colossus of the faith - temples and convents - that make patent the religiosity of Queretaro (the capital of the homonymous State), and embellished with splendid palaces and big old colonial houses, scenarios of a thousand and one stories impregnated with patriotism or signalled by the mist of legend.

A palace in which the struggle for independence was outlined, a theatre where the execution of an alien emperor was dictated and the Constitution of Mexico was promulgated, a house inhabited by a sullen and rich man who, according to gossip, made a pact with the devil; another one where the housewife murdered her husband and then her butler, accessory to her first crime.

Legends and gossip that give the buildings of Queretaro, a City that has the privilege of having been declared Patrimony of Humanity by UNESCO, a special shade; although, despite the magic its Historic Centre irradiates and the sadness that grows within when we leave it, travellers must excursion on the surroundings of this exquisite State Capital.
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QUERETARO - MEXICO
Queretaro Travel
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    Queretaro
    In this way you will be amazed before the magnificence of the pre-Hispanic compounds of Ranas and Toluquillas, on the mountainous summits of Sierra Gorda; and you will feel like an explorer in the darkness of the cavern of Los Herrera, with its millenarian stalactites and stalagmites; and you will surrender yourself to the relaxation of the thermal waters of Tequesquiapán and to the contemplation of the artisans' shops of San Juan del Rio.

    You need to visit the following places in Queretaro:

    Attractions in the City

    -Plaza de Armas: The urban core of Queretaro; a gathering place, pleasant and uneasy, surrounded by splendid buildings of colonial architecture such as the Palace of Government, and cosy restaurants and cafés in which there is always a motif to start an amusing conversation.
    This space of the City was an Indian market or tianguis - a trade fair on which products were not only bought and sold but also exchanged - until the XVII century, when a fire turned that costume into ashes. Many decades had to pass before the place became a public plaza, which happened in 1886.
    The statue of the marquis of Villa del Villar de Águila, responsible for the construction of the aqueduct of the City, symbol of Queretaro, stands out in the middle of the plaza.

    -Aqueduct: A monumental conduit with a 9 kilometre extension and 74 arches 23 metres high. It was built between 1726 and 1735 to provide with water the entire City. The work was financed by Antonio Urrutia y Arana, marquis of Villa del Villar de Águila, considered the benefactor of Queretaro.
    Three years later, enlargements would be made to feed 10 public fountains, including that of the Main Plaza, and 60 private ones.
    Due to its majesty, this notable public work has turned into the symbol of Queretaro. It can be fully appreciated from the Causeway of the Arches, in the Bernardo Quintana Boulevard.

    -Palace of Government: An impressive Neo-Hispanic construction that was finished in 1770. The work was commissioned by chief magistrate Martin José de la Rocha y Lans, who besides using it as a house and office, turned it into the site of the royal prisons.
    The Palace is considered to be the cradle of the Mexican independence movement, because the so called "literary meetings", euphemism used to cover up the liberation plans that were plotted there, under the protection of Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez, wife of chief magistrate Miguel Dominguez and a woman with progressive ideas contrary to keeping the Spanish yoke, took place in its rooms.
    The conspiracy was discovered by the husband of the brave lady, who - at his own risk - alerted the participants about the danger building upon them, thus avoiding their capture. As a consequence of this action, father Miguel Hidalgo unleashed the Cry of Dolores, event that marked the start of the struggle for independence (on September the 15th of 1810). Due to the valiant attitude of Mrs Josefa, the Palace would be renamed by the people as the House of the Lady Magistrate. It is currently the seat of the State Government and it maintains its balconies and ample windows from its early years.
    It is located on 5 de Mayo Avenue, in the corner with Luis Pasteur Street, in the Historic Centre of Queretaro.

    -Cathedral of Queretaro: It is singular and eclectic for baroque and neoclassical details, the styles predominant in the XVII and XVIII century, are mixed upon its façade of quarry stone and tezontle (a kind of volcanic rock, light and porous).
    The Cathedral, built between the years 1786 and 1805, was blessed by father Miguel Hidalgo, who on September the 15th of 1810 would enter the pages of world history, when he started the quest for Mexican independence with the famous Cry of Dolores.
    In 1921 the Temple was promoted to Cathedral by Pope Benedict the XV, being consecrated in 1931. It is situated before the Plaza de Armas.

    -Theatre of the Republic: Of neoclassical style, it has a beautiful balcony with Ionic columns standing out on its façade, while in his oval interior it has 4 storey galleries. Built between 1845 and 1852 (it was inaugurated on May the 2nd), it was originally named Iturbide Theatre, in honour of one of the heroes of independence, but the name would be changed in 1922.
    Beyond artistic performances, on its stage have taken place transcendent events in the history of the country, like the meeting of the War Council that dictated the execution of emperor Maximilian of Habsburg in 1867; and the promulgation, on February the 5th of 1917, of the Mexican Constitution which is still in effect nowadays. Due to these events it was declared National Monument.
    It is located on Benito Juarez Street, corner with Angela Peralta.

    -Railway Station: It was inaugurated in 1903 by president Porfirio Diaz. Due to its French like style - much in fashion in the late XIX century and early XX - and the use of pink stones on its walls, the station is undoubtedly one of the prettiest in Mexico.
    Built by an English company, the station is currently site of innumerable exhibitions and cultural happenings. It is located between Héroe de Nacozari Avenue and Cuahtémoc Street.

    -Hill of the Bells: This beautiful park, with ample green areas and playgrounds, was the setting for the decisive clash between the forces of the Republic and those of emperor Maximilian of Habsburg (Napoleon's the III envoy), which took place on May the 15th of 1867.
    Victory was on the Republic's side, while Maximilian was taken prisoner. Not long after, he would be executed in the same spot where the fight took place, an event that would mark the end of the French intromission in Mexico.
    During the celebrations of the centenary of the republican triumph in 1967, the then president of Mexico, Gustavo Diaz Ordaz, and the Governor of Queretaro, Manuel Gonzales de Cosio, inaugurated an impressive statue to honour Benito Juarez y Garcia, one of the leaders of the fight against the invading forces, on top of the Hill of the Bells. A few metres away, the Imperial House of Austria built a small chapel of gothic style in memory of Maximilian of Habsburg.
    The name of the Hill is explained by the existence of several stones that emit sounds resembling the toll of a bell when hit one against the other. It is situated between Tecnología and Hidalgo Avenues.

    -Hidalgo Promenade: By the end of the XVIII century, viceroy marquis of Branciforte, gave his approval for a work of great ornamental beauty, with ample gardens, gorgeous pedestrian trails and even an artificial lake which changed the urban look of Queretaro.
    The work became a welcomed reality but, in 1867, a battle between the Republicans and the French imperialists forces caused major damages in the place; it was repaired in 1897 though without respecting the original design, adding to the promenade a monument to pay homage to father Miguel Hidalgo, forefather of the independence.
    A century later (1986 - 1988), authorities of the state administration started a new restoration, but this time with the intention of rescuing its original features. The result was successful. The Promenade recuperated its gleam, becoming an attractive public space.
    It is located between Zaragoza, Corregidora and Constituyente Avenues.

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