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Historic Monuments Zone of Querétaro
Posted by: HoboSylvain | 2013-11-24 18:53:15 | Santiago de Queretaro, Queretaro, Mexico
Keywords: city, history, UNESCO
The city of Querétaro is now the capital of its state bearing the same name. But way before the Mexican Independence, Querétaro played a pivotal role in the development of the area. It was one of the first (and most important) settlement where both Spaniards and local population lived together. It's this co-habitation and the extraordinary preservation of this city built in the 16th century that is recognized by the UNESCO in 1996.

Officially established in 1531, it was a joint settlement where the Spaniards built their rectangular grid city with plazas (very few hills to come change the plans this time, as opposed to other cities in the area) and the natives (mostly the Otomi but also the tarasco and the Chichimeca) lived in the immediate surroundings of the Spanish grid plans, building little curvy streets.

That made of Querétaro a unique example of co-habitation between the cultures and that was done in a peaceful manner (because the local leaders had adopted the Christian faith). The city was also at a cross-point of important East-West and North-South routes for commerce, including the famous Silver Road coming from Zacatecas and Guanajuato.

The UNESCO site name is a bit confusing. Normally, it should have been something like “Historic centre of Querétaro” or something similar... but instead, it's “Historic Monuments Zone of Querétaro”, which also means the historic Centro... because all the 'monuments' are in that area. By 'monuments', understand yes, statues and monuments, but also buildings. All of them contribute to making it a historical location.

Querétaro also played an important role in Mexican history, at various eras. First, it was one of the centres of the rebellion that led to the Mexican independence in 1810. It was also the Capital of the country on two brief occasions, including during the American invasion in 1847. That's also where the 1917 constitution was signed ending the Revolution.

Many of the monuments within the area are dedicated to the Mexican heroes of those important chapters... and are part of the UNESCO site.

Related posts:
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Historical Centre of Oaxaca and Monte Albán
Historic Centre of Mexico City and Xochimilco
Historic Centre of Morelia
Fortified city of San Miguel and Sanctuary


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