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Querétaro City

Santiago de Querétaro
City and municipality
Coat of arms of Santiago de Querétaro
Coat of arms
Location of Querétaro within the State
Location of Querétaro within the State
Location of Querétaro in Mexico
Location of Querétaro in Mexico
Country Mexico
State Querétaro
Established 25 July 1531
Municipal Status 1917
 • Municipal President Marcos Aguilar
Elevation[1] 1,820 m (5,970 ft)
Population (2010)
 • City and municipality 804,663
 • Metro 1,097,025 (metro)
Time zone CST (UTC−6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC−5)
Area code(s) 442

Santiago de Querétaro (Spanish pronunciation: ) is the capital and largest city of the state of Querétaro, located in central Mexico. It is part of the macroregion of Bajío.[2] It is located 213 kilometers (132 mi) northwest of Mexico City, 63 kilometers (39 mi) southeast of San Miguel de Allende and 200 kilometers (120 mi) south of San Luis Potosí.[3] The city of Querétaro is divided into seven boroughs: Josefa Vergara y Hernández, Felipe Carrillo Puerto, Centro Histórico, Cayetano Rubio, Santa Rosa Jáuregui, Félix Osores Sotomayor and Epigmenio González. In 1996, the historic center of Querétaro was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Querétaro has repeatedly been recognized as the metro area with the best quality of life and as the safest city in Mexico[4] and also as the most dynamic in Latin America.[2][5] It is a strong business and economic centre [6][7] and a vigorous service city that is experiencing an ongoing social and economic revitalization.

Querétaro has seen an outstanding industrial and economic development since the mid 1990s. Querétaro metropolitan area has the 2nd highest GDP per capita among Mexico's metropolitan areas with 20,000 USD after Monterrey. The city is the fastest-growing in the country, basing its economy to IT and data centers, logistics services, aircraft manufacturing and maintenance, call centers and manufacturing center for automotive and machinery industry, chemicals and food products. The region of Querétaro has a rapidily growing vineyards agriculture and it hosts the famous wine producer from Spain: Freixenet, the wine production in Querétaro is now the second largest in Mexico after the Baja California region.

This has caused the city and the metropolitan area to attract many migrants from other parts of Mexico.[8][9]

Querétaro is the host for major corporations such as Bombardier Aerospace (an airplane manufacturing facility in Mexico), Kellogg's, Samsung Electronics, Daewoo, Colgate-Palmolive, General Electric, Michelin, Tetra Pak, Siemens Mexico, New Holland, ArvinMeritor, Autoliv, TRW Automotive, Tremec, Valeo Sylvania, Procter & Gamble, Nestlé, Pilgrim's Pride, Santander Bank's call center for Latin America, Mabe Mexico, Irizar, Scania, Hitachi, Kostal, Aernnova, Dana, Dow Chemical, Bose, Alpha Hilex, Saint-Gobain, Flex-N-Gate, and ThyssenKrupp, among others.


  • Etymology 1
  • History 2
    • Pre-Foundation 2.1
    • Foundation 2.2
    • Peak of colonial era 2.3
    • Independence and capital status 2.4
    • 20th century 2.5
  • World Heritage Site by UNESCO 3
  • Notable sites 4
  • Climate 5
  • Economy 6
  • Festival of Santiago de Querétaro 7
  • Metropolitan area 8
  • Transportation 9
  • Education and research 10
  • Sports 11
  • The municipality 12
  • Sister cities 13
  • Gallery 14
  • References 15
  • External links 16


In the Otomi language, it is referred to as "Maxei" or "Ndamaxei", which means ball game and the grand ball game respectively. In the Purépecha language it is referred to as "Créttaro", meaning place of crags, referring to the rocky hills of La Cañada. In the Mendocino Codex the town is called Tlaschco or Tlaxco, from the Nahuatl for ball game. However, Querétaro most likely comes from k'eri ireta rho, meaning place of the great people, especially since during Aztec times about 15,000 people lived here. Querétaro has an Aztec glyph to represent it as it was a tributary province. In 1655, it received a coat of arms from the Spanish Crown.[8]

The word Querétaro was voted by 33,000 participants as "the most beautiful word in the Spanish language", before being approved by the Instituto Cervantes.[10][11] In Pre-Columbian terminology, Querétaro literally means "the island of the blue salamanders."[12] Nevertheless, other scholars suggest that it can mean "place of the reptiles" or "place of the giant rocks."[13]

In addition, Gael García Bernal was one of the major promoters and figures of the festivals planned to celebrate Querétaro's award.[14]


Statue of Otomi king, Conín de Xilotepeque, (also known as Fernando de Tapia), founder of the city.
Statue of an Otomi soldier in the city center.


The area was settled around 200 A.D. by Mesoamerican groups moving north, and archeological sites here show Teotihuacan influences. From the Classic Period, there were two population centers in this area called Toluquilla and Ranas. The mountain now known as El Cerrito was a ceremonial center, but was later abandoned for unknown reasons.[8]

In the later pre-Hispanic period, the area was populated by the

  • websiteMunicipio de QuerétaroOfficial —(Spanish)

External links

  1. ^ INEGI, Anuario Estadístico del Estado de Querétaro, 2003
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u "Santiago, Querétaro" (in Spanish). Mexico: El Clima. Retrieved 2009-11-12. 
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa "Enciclopedia de los Municipios de México Querétaro Querétaro" (in Spanish). Mexico: INAFED. Retrieved 2009-11-12. 
  9. ^ a b c d "Junto Con El Crecimiento De La Ciudad, Crecen También Los Servicios Públicos Municipales Con Calidad En Beneficio De Los Habitantes Del Municipio" [Together with the growth of the city, grow also the municipal public services with quality to Benedit the inhabitants of the municipality] (in Spanish). Querétaro: Municipality of Querétaro. 2007-07-30. Retrieved 2009-11-12. 
  10. ^ "Querétaro: la palabra más hermosa del Español". CNN México. 19 June 2011. Retrieved 14 December 2011. 
  11. ^ "El estado de Querétaro festejará que su nombre es la palabra más bonita". CNN México. 21 June 2011. Retrieved 14 December 2011. 
  12. ^ Querétaro', la palabra elegida como la más hermosa en el Día del Español"'". CNN México. 18 June 2011. Retrieved 14 December 2011. 
  13. ^ "Querétaro y las otras cinco palabras favoritas del español". BBC Mundo. 18 June 2011. Retrieved 14 December 2011. 
  14. ^ "Querétaro: palabra favorita de Gael García". Secretaría de Turismo del Estado de Querétaro. Retrieved 14 December 2011. 
  15. ^ a b c d e f "Introduction to Santiago de Querétaro". USA: Frommers. Retrieved 2009-11-12. 
  16. ^ a b c d e f "About Santiago de Querétaro". Explorando Mexico. Retrieved 2009-11-12. 
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Attractions". USA: Frommers. Retrieved 2009-11-12. 
  18. ^ "Historic Monuments Zone of Querétaro". United Nations: UNESCO. Retrieved 2009-11-12. 
  19. ^ 'National Geographic'' - 2008 Ranking of Historic Places"'". Retrieved 2011-12-03. 
  20. ^ a b c d Isaza, Julian. "Santiago de Querétaro, corazón de la historia mexicana y un lugar diferente para descansar" [Santiago de Querétaro, heart of Mexican history and a different place to rest]. El Tiempo (in Spanish) (Mexico). Retrieved 2009-11-12. 
  21. ^ a b "Where to Go / What to Do in Santiago de Querétaro". Explorando Mexico. Retrieved 2009-11-12. 
  22. ^ a b c "Beaterio de Santa Rosa de Viterbo" (in Spanish). Querétaro: Municipality of Querétaro. Retrieved 2009-11-12. 
  23. ^ "Museo de la Ciudad Santiago de Querétaro" [Museum of the City of Santiago de Querétaro] (in Spanish). Mexico: CONACULTA. Retrieved 2009-11-12. 
  24. ^ Kottek, M.; J. Grieser; C. Beck; B. Rudolf; F. Rubel (2006). "World Map of the Köppen-Geiger climate classification updated" (PDF). Meteorol. Z. 15 (3): 259–263.  
  25. ^ "Normales climatológicas 1951-2010" (in Spanish). Servicio Meteorológico Nacional. Retrieved January 15, 2013. 
  26. ^ "Normales climatológicas 1981-2000" (PDF) (in Spanish). Comision Nacional Del Agua. Retrieved January 15, 2013. 
  27. ^ "Normales climatológicas para Querétaro, Querétaro" (in Spanish). Colegio de Postgraduados. Archived from the original on February 21, 2013. Retrieved January 5, 2013. 
  28. ^ Oficina Nacional de Desarrollo Humano (2005). "IDH Municipal 2000–2005 base de datos". Retrieved 2008-12-17. 
  29. ^ a b Chavez, Mariana (2005-01-15). "Querétaro, quinto lugar nacional en crecimiento demográfico: Crespo" [Querétaro, fifth place nationally in population growth: Crespo]. La Jornada (in Spanish) (Mexico City). Retrieved 2009-11-12. 
  30. ^ a b "Picasa Web Albums - Jorge Arturo - publicar". 2007-06-17. Retrieved 2011-12-03. 
  31. ^
  32. ^ a b "fDi Intelligence – Your source for foreign direct investment information -". Retrieved 2011-12-03. 
  33. ^ Cambrón, David (2009-09-11). "La proyección de crecimiento es muy conservadora" [Growth projection is very conservative] (in Spanish). Querétaro: Grupo Formula Querétaro. Retrieved 2009-11-12. 
  34. ^ a b c d Morales, Ricardo (2009-04-13). "Inició el Festival Santiago de Querétaro 2009" [Festival of Santiago de Querétaro]. Diario de Querétaro (in Spanish) (Santiago de Querétaro). Retrieved 2009-11-12. 
  35. ^ a b c d CONACULTA. "Se llevará a cabo el Festival Santiago de Querétaro 2009. Arte en todos los sentidos" [Festival de Querétaro 2009, Art in all senses set to begin] (in Spanish). Mexico: Artes e Historia. Retrieved 2009-11-12. 
  36. ^ "Cuadro 5.36. Zona metropolitana de Querétaro: Población, tasa de crecimiento, superficie y densidad media urbana, 1990–2005" [Grid 5.36 Querétaro metropolitan area: Population, rate of growth, territory and average urban density 1990–2005] (PDF) (in Spanish). Mexico: INEGI. Retrieved 2009-11-12. 
  37. ^ "INEGI Reference" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-12-03. 
  38. ^ "Detalle de comunicado". 2007-06-14. Retrieved 2011-12-03. 
  39. ^ a b
  40. ^ "Un año más de retraso en el Libramiento Sur Poniente" [More than one year behind on Libramiento Sur Poniente]. La Libertad (in Spanish). 2009-10-12. Retrieved 2009-11-12. 
  41. ^ Arreguín, Andrea (2008-08-21). "Construirán distribuidor vial Bernardo Quintana, en Querétaro" [Will construct the Bernardo Quintana bypass in Querétaro]. Diario Rotativo (in Spanish) (Querétaro). Retrieved 2009-11-12. 
  42. ^ "Transporte in Querétaro, Mexico" [Transportation in Querétaro, Mexico] (in Spanish). Mexico: Enjoy Mexico. Retrieved 2009-11-12. 
  43. ^ "Aeropuerto Internacional de Querétaro" [International Airport of Querétaro] (in Spanish). Querétaro: AIQ. Retrieved 2009-11-12. 
  44. ^ "Contact." Colegio Suizo de México. Retrieved on 14 March 2014. "CAMPUS QUERÉTARO El Colegio Europeo en Querétaro Circuito la Cima No. 901 Fracc. La Cima C.P. 76146 , Querétaro, Querétaro"
  45. ^ Martinez, Alfredo. "A la conquista de Querétaro" [The conquest of Querétaro] (in Spanish). Mexico: Mexico Desconocido. Retrieved 2009-11-12. 



Sister cities

The territory contains deposits of gold, silver, manganese, tin, mercury, lead, zinc, opal, quartz, cantera stone (for building) among other minerals.[8]

Near the city is the Sierra Gorda de Querétaro, part of the Sierra Madre Oriental, was declared by UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve. This protected area is very rugged terrain, filled with canyons, steep mountains, waterfalls and deep abysses with a total expansion of 24,803 hectares. The area contains 360 species of birds, 130 species of mammals, 71 of reptiles and twenty-three of amphibians. It also contains about thirty percent of the country's butterfly species including the endangered Humboldt, the Jaguar the Oso Negro and the Guacamaya. Plant species include 1,710 different species including endangered species and is considered to be one of the best-preserved forested areas in Mexico. The Missionary Route of Friar Junípero Serra passes through here as caves such as the Sótano del Barro are located here.[45]

In most areas, various species of cacti can be seen such as the nopals, as well as the yucca. Trees adapted to dry climates include mesquite, willows and cypress, near streams and rivers. Animal life mostly consists of small mammals, deer, predatory birds and reptiles. In some areas, monarch butterflies can be seen as well. Nature reserves in the municipality include the Peña Colorado, Tángano, Parque Ecologicao Joya-La Barreta and the El Cimatario National Park.[8]

The municipality has rolling hills, mountain ranges and flatlands. Most of the rolling hills cross the territory from south to north, paralleling the Querétaro-San Luis Potosí highway. Most plains are located in the north, and are of sedimentary soil with some protrusions of volcanic rock. Altitude varies from 1,900 to 2,460 meters above sea level with the highest elevations at mountains called El Buey, Pie de Gallo, El Patol, El Nabo, and El Paisano. The city proper is on a plain at 1,900 meters. There is only one river, the Querétaro River with carved the La Cañada. There are numerous streams, many of them seasonal, and fresh water springs near the mountain areas. The climate is temperate and semi-dry in which the summers can be hot, with high up to 36C in May and June. Freezing temperatures are possible in the winter.[8]

Josefa Auditorium

The mayor of each borough, called delegado, is appointed by the mayor of the city, although there have been attempts to make these posts popularly elected.

  • Centro Histórico: it includes downtown and nearby areas, it is surrounded by the city's main thoroughfares (Blvd. Bernardo Quintana, 5 de Febrero Ave. and the Mexico City–Querétaro Highway). Most of the city's monuments are located here, including the UNESCO World Heritage Site designated areas, and the Cerro de las Campanas where Emperor Maximilian of Habsburg was executed. The northwestern corner is home to industrial establishments, mainly food related (Gerber, Nestlé, Pilgrim's Pride). (pop. 230,000; area 18 km²)
  • Santa Rosa Jáuregui: it consists mainly of rural areas, where the production of eggs, poultry and livestock are important. However, the borough includes larger towns such as Santa Rosa Jáuregui and Juriquilla. It is home to the largest water reservoir in the municipality, the Presa de Santa Catarina. A relatively new state of the art industrial park has been built here (Samsung). (pop. 76,000)
  • Felix Osores Sotomayor: most of the recent growth in the city has taken place here, the population growth rate estimated at 6%. The largest industrial area of Querétaro is located here, where lots of multinational companies have operations (Michelin, Philips). The beautiful neighborhood of Jurica is comprised in this borough. (pop. 145,000; area 40 km²)
  • Epigmenio González: a mostly residential zone on hilly terrain. The former airport will become the third campus of the Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro. (pop. 125,000; area 68 km²)
  • Josefa Vergara y Hernández: on the slopes of the Cerro del Cimatario, its easternmost area is known as Centro Sur, where the Stadium, Bus Station and City Hall are located. (pop. 200,000; area 33 km²)
  • Felipe Carrillo Puerto: the western part consists mainly of rural areas, where the town of Tlacote is located, famous for its allegedly miraculous water springs. The eastern area is urban and integrated with the rest of the city, with industrial zones (Kellogg's) and military facilities.
  • Cayetano Rubio: residential area, it includes the town of Hercules, a picturesque village-like area, nestled between steep slopes along the riverway of the Río Querétaro.

The municipality of Querétaro is divided into seven boroughs, called delegaciones:


As municipal seat, the city of Querétaro is the governing authority for 504 named communities, two-thirds of which have populations under fifty people.(INEGI) These communities are divided into seven delegations: Centro Histórico, Félix Osores Sotomayor, Cayetano Rubio, Epigmenio González, Josefa Vergara y Hernández, Felipe Carrillo Puerto and Santa Rosa Jáuregui.[8] The municipality borders the municipality of El Marqués, Huimilpan, Corregidora, Apaseo el Grande, in the state of Guanajuato. It has a territory of 759.9km2.[8] The total population of the municipality (2010 est.) is 804 663, over 81% (651 777) of which live in the city proper.

The municipality

  • Parque Querétaro 2000: Olympic pool, Tae Kwon Doo arena, gymnasium, Football field (soccer), Baseball field, Volleyball, Running Path, among other.
  • Parque Alfalfares: Basketball courses, Tennis courses, Semi Olympic Pool, Football field (soccer and American), Baseball and Volleyball
  • Estadio Municipal: Football (soccer) stadium with capacity for 1000 people seated.
  • Unidad Deportiva UAQ: state university sports unit, open to the public.
  • Unidad Deportiva IMSS: health care system sports unit, for special events and open to the public and workers of IMSS

Other sport facilities in the city include:

The Auditorio Josefa Ortiz is the largest multipurpose venue in the city, it serve for tennis matches (Davis Cup), Tae Kwon Do, Table Tennis, and other sports, it has a capacity of 6000 seated in stadium formation.

The Auditorio Arteaga also serves as Basketball stadium for the city team Libertadores and for traditional wrestling, volleyball and other sports. This venue has a capacity of 3000 people seated.

There are two wrestling or Lucha Libre Arenas in the city, the Arena Querétaro that has matches from the Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre and the Auditorio Arteaga a multipurpose venue that presents AAA fights.

Golf is also quite popular, with numerous courses including: Juriquilla, Campestre, Balvanera, and El Campanario. San Gil and Tequisquiapan are located near the city itself.

Another popular sport is the Football played in its different institutions (UAQ, ITQ & UVM), Querétaro has only one varsity football team, the All Black's and they train on the Querétaro 2000 football field.

One of the most popular sports in the city is bullfighting. There are two bullrings, Santa María, and Juriquilla. Santa María was inaugurated on December 22, 1963 and it has a capacity for 13,000 spectators. Juriquilla is much smaller but considered the most beautiful bullring in the country.

The city has one of the most modern stadiums in Mexico, the Estadio Corregidora, built for the FIFA World Cup celebrated in 1986. Querétaro F.C. of the Primera División plays there.

Interior of the Estadio Corregidora.


The Campus Querétaro of the Colegio Suizo de México is in Querétaro City.[44]

Also, the city is home to more than seven research centers. Among the most important are CIATEQ, CIDESI and CIDETEQ. There are also several private research centers.

  • The Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro (founded in 1625 as College of St. Ignatious of Loyola)
  • Instituto Tecnológico de Querétaro.
  • Universidad del Valle de México
  • Universidad Anáhuac
  • Universidad Contemporánea
  • Universidad TecMilenio, Campus Querétaro
  • Universidad del Golfo de México, Campus Querétaro
  • Universidad Politecnica de Querétaro
  • Universidad Cuauhtémoc
  • Universidad Univer-Aliat
  • Escuela Bancaria y Comercial
  • Universidad Corregidora de Querétaro
  • Universidad Veracruzana
  • Universidad del Valle de Atemajac
  • Universidad Marista
  • Escuela Normal del Estado
  • Centro de Estudios Universitarios Londres
  • Universidad Liceo
  • Universidad Tecnológica de Querétaro
  • Universidad Nacional Aeronáutica en Querétaro
  • Instituto Gastronómico y de Estudios Superiores
  • Centro de Estudios en Ciencias de la Comunicación
  • Centro de Formación de Recursos de Enfermería de Querétaro
  • Instituto Tecnológico de la Construcción
  • Centro de Estudios Odontológicos
  • Centro Universitario Andamaxei
  • Centro de Estudios Superiores del Bajio
  • Universidad Interamericana del Norte
  • Colegio Universitario De Humanidades
  • Universidad Metropolitana Latina
  • Centro de Estudios de Posgrado en Salud Mental
  • Universidad CNCI
  • Colegio Universitario de Formación Empresarial, Querétaro
  • Universidad Internacional de Querétaro
  • Centro de Investigación en Ciencia Applicada y Tecnología avanzada (part of the IPN)
  • CUDH

The city and its surroundings are home to some of the most important universities in Mexico. The most prestigious universities in Mexico, the National Autonomous University of Mexico, the Universidad Anáhuac and the ITESM (Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey), have set campuses at the outskirts where significant research is carried out. UNAM is a public institution and the Universidad Anáhuac and the ITESM-Querétaro are private.

Querétaro's ITESM campus

Education and research

The city also has a large inter-city bus terminal.

The Querétaro International Airport began operations in 2004, replacing the old Ing. Fernando Espinoza Gutiérrez International Airport in the city. The airport handles passengers and freight of both transport and private airplanes. Plans to convert the old airport into an international one began in 1999, after studies indicated the need for such. Construction of infrastructure began in 2002. The old Fernando Espinoza Gutierrez Airport had been in operation since 1955, and was expanded in 1986.[43]

Querétaro's public transportation consists of private owned bus companies that pick up and drop off over a specific route. These cover 123 authorized routes all neighborhoods of the city. There are also conventional taxis.[42]

Another freeway, named after missionary Junípero Serra who founded the Missions of the Sierra Gorda, this road creates another ring road. It goes from northeast Querétaro around the old airport, reaches the northern suburb of Juriquilla and goes southwards down to the Libramiento Sur-Poniente.[41]

The Libramiento Sur-Poniente is a new ring road under construction, though parts of it already exist. When completed, it will join Bernardo Quintana on its southeastern part, go around the city in its southwestern and western parts, and reach the northern suburb of Santa Rosa Jauregui. Currently, there is work in progress that aims to extend Bernardo Quintana on its northwestern end to this ring road.[40]

Querétaro is the crossroads of Mexico. Federal Highway 57, which runs from Mexico City to Piedras Negras, Coahuila|Piedras Negras, crosses Querétaro. Federal Highway 45 leaves Querétaro westbound, towards Guanajuato. The part of Federal Highway 57 that crosses the city is called Blvd. Bernardo Quintana, and this is the main road of the city, stretching from its southernmost part near City Hall, to the new industrial areas northwest of downtown. Federal Highway 45 crosses the city, south of downtown. Cinco de Febrero Ave joins them in a north-south route. The three of them form a sort of ring road around downtown. The railway line that connects Mexico City with western Mexico bisects the city.

View of the Highway through the City


Panoramic view of Querétaro, Querétaro at night.

The CONAPO (Consejo Nacional de Población - National Population Council) in Mexico estimated the population of the municipality in 2010 of 804 663 inhabitants[39] and of the metropolitan area of 1 085 153.[39] This information will be confirmed with the national census of 2010 by INEGI.

In January 2008 the government of the border municipality of Apaseo el Alto in the state of Guanajuato announced the construction of an urbanization for 120,000 inhabitants, which will be part of the metropolitan area of Santiago de Querétaro.[38]

The Querétaro metropolitan area comprises the municipalities of Querétaro, Corregidora, El Marqués and Huimilpan with a total population in 2010 of 1,097,028.[36] According to data from the National Population Council, Querétaro is the 10th largest metro area in Mexico, as well as the 128th largest in the Americas.[37] The metropolitan area of Querétaro has seen a population growth of between 3.65 and 5.54 percent per year since the second half of the 1990s, which makes it the fifth fastest-growing in the country behind Cancún, Tijuana, Puerto Vallarta, Ciudad Juárez and Nuevo Laredo. The population of the metro area in 2005 was 738,921, with 58% living outside of Querétaro city proper. The municipality of Corregidora has the highest rate of population growth in the state at 5.54%. Most of the population growth is due to migration with people coming here from Mexico City, Mexico State and Guanajuato. It is estimated that in 2005, 10,465 people migrated to the metropolitan area.[29]

The area surrounding Querétaro is full of fields and hills.

Metropolitan area

The 2009 event has 110 events and with an expected attendance of about 3,150,000 people in total,[34] far exceeding the 260,000 who attended in 2008.[35] The 2009 event had concerts featuring traditional Mexican music, rock and jazz.[34] Some of the international artists came from Italy, Argentina, and Brazil. Featured Mexican artists included Pindekuechua, a traditional music group from Morelia, Grupo Esparza from Guanajuato and Jazzcorps from Toluca.[35]

Over the eight days, both Mexican and international artists perform and exhibit their work. Events include music, painting, dance, photography, literature, special workshops and a children's pavilion. One final day, there is a culinary event were visitors can sample regional cuisine from restaurants of the city.[35]

The Festival of Santiago de Querétaro is an annual arts and cultural event that takes place in the city for eight days during Holy Week.[34] It is sponsored by the city of Querétaro along with CONACULTA and the Secretary of Tourism for the state of Querétaro.[35] Each year the event has a theme, which was being "Arte in Todos los Sentidos" (Art in All Senses) in 2009.The events are held in various locations, such as City Museum, the Guerrero Garden, the Zenea Garden and the Rosalio Solano Theatre as well as the various plazas around the city center. The festival is held during Holy Week holiday to attract Mexican and international visitors to the city. The event starts with an inaugural parade through the streets of the historic center, starting from Corregidora Street to Constituyentes, Angela Peralta, Juárez, Madera nd Guerrero streets. The parade ends at the site where public officials open the event.[34]

The Neptune fountain, a symbol of the city

Festival of Santiago de Querétaro

Both Standard & Poor's and the newspaper Reforma have ranked Querétaro as one of the safest cities to live in with the highest quality of life in Mexico. According to the Secretaría de Desarrollo Sustenable Municipal, the city is expected to increase in size 35 percent over the next 20 to 25 years.[9] Economic growth for 2009 and 2010 is predicted to be between one and two percent due to the worldwide economic downturn.[33]

Tourism has grown as a sector of the economy, especially in the city proper, and is now one of the most important, accounting for 21 percent of the gross product of the city.[20]

The economy spurs immigration to the city, which has seen a population growth of more than 3.5 percent a year.[9] The industrialization of the area has attracted a large number of migrants from poorer areas of Mexico but many of these are unemployed or under-employed. This has led to an explosion of informal markets and other businesses in and around the city. Also a large number of those seeking to migrate to the northern Mexican states or to the United States pass through here. This has led to commerce being the largest economic activity in the municipality.[8]

Querétaro's economic growth is above the national average, due in part, the city believes, to the investment that it makes in infrastructure, public services and the creation of parks as well as sports and cultural facilities.[9]

Until the 1970s, agriculture had been the overwhelming basis of the economy of the municipality outside the city and commerce within it. Since then, the expansion of industry and the growth of the city, which started in the 1950s, have diminished the importance of agriculture and the land available for it. It now only employs .01% of the municipality's population. Major employers now are the industrial parks that surround the city and extend to San Juan del Río. These include the Zona Industrial Benito Juarez, Parque Industrial Querétaro, Parque Industrial Jurica Parque La Montaña and the Querétaro-San Juan del Río Industrial Corridor. Most of the businesses operating here are foreign-owned or were built with foreign investment monies. Industries include machine and auto parts, food processing, paper products, printing, chemicals and glass.[8]

Economic growth has been outstanding during the last decade. Today, Querétaro is a middle class city in terms of PPP GDP, with $20,000,[28] The municipality of Querétaro was ranked 23rd in Mexico on the United Nations Index of Human Development.[29] Querétaro debuted in 13th place in the 2006 rankings of the "Best Cities to do Business in Latin America" in América Economía, a leading economic magazine.[30] In the 2007 rankings, it is considered the second best place in Mexico to do business,[30] after Monterrey and the fifth best in Latin America, ahead of Miami in 6th place. The ranking takes variables such as telecommunications, innovation, quality of life, urban expansion and crime statistics.[31] In its 2007 survey entitled "Cities of the Future", FDI magazine ranked Querétaro as having the third highest cost effectiveness of all North American cities between 500,000 and two million people.[32] In the overall classification of large cities, Querétaro was ranked sixth.[32]

Central Park Corporate


Climate data for Querétaro
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 35.2
Average high °C (°F) 23.0
Daily mean °C (°F) 15.1
Average low °C (°F) 7.1
Record low °C (°F) −2.8
Average precipitation mm (inches) 15.3
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 2.8 1.8 0.8 2.4 6.5 9.7 11.5 8.5 7.5 4.9 2.4 1.9 60.7
Average relative humidity (%) 50 46 42 43 47 55 60 60 61 58 54 54 53
Mean monthly sunshine hours 241.8 237.7 268.4 264.2 252.1 208.5 213.8 225.1 210.7 235.3 231.5 213.6 2,802.7
Source #1: Servicio Meteorológico Nacional[25][26]
Source #2: Colegio de Postgraduados[27]

Querétaro has a semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification BSh) with mild temperatures year round.[24] Most of the precipitation falls from June to August.


The city still contains a number of mansions from the colonial era, most of which have been converted into a number of uses. One of these is the La Casa de la Zacatecana (The Zacatecana House) on Independencia 51, which has been restored as a museum to show what many of these mansions were like. Associated with this house as well as others are stories about love, murder and retribution. Another of these houses is the La Casa de la Marquesa (Marquesa House), which was an opulent residence that now serves as a hotel. The courtyard is in the Mudéjar or Spanish Moorish style, with Moorish arches and pattered walls. This area serves as the hotel's lobby.[17]

The Teatro de la Republica (Theatre of the Republic) was built between 1845 and 1852 an originally called Teatro Iturbide. In 1867, the court martial of Maximiliano I and his generals, Miguel Miramón and Tomás Mejía sentenced the three to death. The Constitution of 1917 was promulgated here. In 1922, the governor of Querétaro state changed the name to its current one in honor of the 1917 event. The theatre is primarily used for acts and ceremonies on the state, national and international levels, such as the swearing in of the state's governor.(elclma)

The Museo de la Ciudad (City Museum) is located in the former Royal Convent of Santa Clara. In the 18th century, sisters of the Capuchin order moved from Mexico City to Querétaro to occupy this complex, which was built by the city for them. This was done to show the city's economic strength as well as secure its social position in New Spain. After the Reform Laws, this building had a number of uses, as a prison with Maximilian I as its most famous prisoner, a military barracks and offices. Today it is home to a cultural center. In 1997, the Museo de la Ciudad (Museum of the City), which belongs to the Instituto Queretano de la Cultura y las Artes (Querétaro Institute of Culture and the Arts) was moved to this building, and is mostly dedicated to contemporary art. In addition to the permanent collection, the museum sponsors temporary exhibitions of drawings, photographs, sculptures, etc. as well as recitals in dance, music and other arts. The museum has exchange programs with Sweden and has established the Children's Library of the Museum of the City. Its goal is to interest children in the arts through books, workshops and other activities.[23] The Church of Santa Clara maintains its religious function. Inside are six Baroque altarpieces and a choir loft, all of which are covered in gold leaf. On the altarpieces sculptures and paintings of saints appear, as well as the faces of angels among the thickly textured ornamentation covering the altarpieces.[17]

Pendulum in the Querétaro museum of science and technology.

The Museo de Arte (Museum of Art) is located in the former monastery of San Agustin. The building is considered one of the major Baroque works of art in Mexico, built in the 18th century and is attributed to Ignacio Mariano de la Casa It has a facade of cantera stone in which an image of a crucified Christ is surrounded by grapevines. The niches around the main portal contain images of New Spain, including some of the most famous. The museum also sponsors temporary exhibits, theatrical works, as well as literary, photography and musical events.[17][21]

Courtyard of the Museum of Art.

The church and monastery of La Santa Cruz is located on Sangremal Hill, where the appearance of Saint James is said to have occurred at the founding of the city and the cross commemorating the event is kept.[3][8] Both the church and the monastery are Franciscan, and in one of the few monasteries to be in operation in Mexico.[17] This was also the site of the Colegio de la Propagación de la Fe, the first missionary school established in the Americas. From here, missionaries such as Junípero Serra set out on foot, as required by the Order, to establish missions as far away as Texas and California.[15] During the early War of Independence, Miguel Domínguez, Querétaro's mayor and part of the 1810 Conspiracy was imprisoned here. The church has been completely restored and its main attraction is the pink stone cross that was placed on this hill in the 16th century. Its altarpieces are also of pink stone and are a mix of Baroque and Neoclassical.[3] Tours are available here and feature how the aqueduct brought water here to cisterns, from which the residents of the city would fill their buckets. There is also a thorn tree said to have grown from the walking stick of Friar Antonio Margil de Jesús, and is considered miraculous as the thorns grow in the shape of a cross.[17]

The Church and ex-convent of Santa Rosa de Viterbo is attributed to Alarife Ignacio Maraiano de las Casas and financed by José Velasquez de Lorea, finished in 1752. The church has twin entrances, which was common with convent churches. The two arches are decorated with mocking faces put there by Casas to those who did not think he could manage the building of the institution.[22] The outside is flanked by scroll-shaped flying buttresses, which only serve as decoration and are unique to Querétaro.[3][17] The tower has a unique shape and is topped with a pyramid-shaped crest. There is an inner doorway decorated in Churrigueresque style and an image of Saint Rose.[22] Inside, the most outstanding feature is the pulpit inlaid with ivory, nacre, turtle shell and silver,[3] and its altarpieces are gold covered in Querétaro Baroque style. The entrance to the sacristy contains paintings of José Velazquez de Lore and Sor Ana María de San Francisco y Neve. The convent complex was later amplified by Juan Caballero y Osio. The nuns began to dedicate themselves to primary education and by 1727 it became the Royal College of Santa Rosa. The convent was closed in 1861 due to the Reform Laws and was subsequently used as a hospital for about 100 years. Today the convent portion is home to the Centro de Estudios de Diseño y Artes Graficas Mexico-Italiano.[22]

The Church and ex-monastery of San Felipe Neri was built between 1786 and 1805. It was opened and blessed by Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, who also officiated the first Mass. In 1921, this church was declared the Cathedral of Querétaro by Pope Benedict XV. The church is constructed of tezontle and has altarpieces of cantera stone. The facade shows the transition between Baroque and Neoclassical architecture, and is considered to be the last Baroque facade in the city. Inside the nave is sober, austere and completely Neoclassical. The old monastery complex now houses the Ministry of Urban Development and Public Works. It is more commonly referred to as the Palace of Conín.[3]

The Casa de la Marquesa hosted the Foreign Secretary when Querétaro was the Mexican capital.

The Palacio de la Corregidora was originally called the Casas Reales y Cárceles (Royal Houses and Jails). Today it houses the government of the state of Querétaro. Its name comes from its most famous occupant, Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez, who was the wife of the mayor or corregidor of the city. Ortiz de Domínguez is a heroine of the Mexican War of Independence and the Conspiracy of 1810 that lead the to start of the War occurred here.[8] Her final resting place is the Mausoleum of the Corregidora.[20]

The Plaza de Independencia or Plaza de Armas is the oldest part of the city, and is filled with Indian laurel trees, surrounded by outdoor restaurants and colonial mansions.[17] Streets here are made of cobblestone and have names such as La Calle de Bimbo and the Callejón del Ciego.[3] In the middle of this plaza is a fountain that honors Juan Antonio de Urrutia y Arana, who built that large aqueduct to bring water to the city. Around the plaza is the Galeria Libertad (Libertad Gallery) and the Casa de Ecala (Ecala House), which is a baronial mansion from the 18th century with large balconies and wrought ironwork. However, the best-known structure on this plaza is the Palacio de la Corregiadora.[17]

The Plaza de Armas.

The church's cloister is now the Museo Regional (Regional Museum). Built between 1660 and 1698,(elcima) the monastery it houses was the first in the city, built by Franciscans to evangelize the native populations here. The architecture is representative of Franciscan style, with simple lines and decoration. The museum exhibits artifacts from the pre-Hispanic, colonial and post-Independence eras of this region's history.[17][21] The Plaza de la Constitución and Jardin Zenea plaza (named after liberal governor Benito Zenea) were part of the atrium of the church and monastery. This area is crowded every night and all day on Sunday, when the municipal band plays dance music from the 1940s to the 1960s.[3][15]

In the center of downtown is the Church of San Francisco, finished at the beginning of the 18th century and from then on the most important in town, serving as the cathedral until the 20th century.[3] It and the attached cloister is all that is left of a large complex that included several chapels and an orchard that extended for blocks to the east and south.[17] On the facade, there is a depicting of Saint James fighting the Moors, cutting the head off of one.[15] The main altar is Neoclassic, and replaced what reputedly was a masterpiece of Baroque design. This has happened frequently in the city; those Baroque altars not plundered over the course of Mexican history were replaced by newer designs.[17] Older Baroque side altarpieces are still here, and are covered in gold leaf. Other notable pieces here include a large Baroque music stand and the seating of the choir section both done by architect Francisco Eduardo Tresguerras of Celaya in the 18th century. There are also sculptures done by Mariano Montenegro and Mariano Arce.[3]

Church of San Francisco.

Most of the rest of Querétaro's notable sites are located in the historic center, which is pedestrian-friendly and filled with colonial architecture. The local government maintains this area well, with cleaning crews to keep the streets clean and regulating vendors so that they do not block streets and sidewalks. In the evening, the area fills with people strolling the plazas and walkways and frequenting the area's restaurants, cafes and food stands.[15] One way to see this part of town is the Noche de Leyendas (Night of Legends), which is a hybrid between interactive theater and a recounting of history. A group of actors guide visitors through the streets of the city narrating stories about what has happened in these places. This event begins at the main plaza, the Plaza de Armas in the center of the city with a reenactment of the legend of Carambada. Then the show wanders the street all the while telling tales related to bandits, loves and myths. These tales demand audience participation providing lines and provoking debate.[20]

The most prominent feature of the city is its enormous aqueduct, consisting of seventy five arches, each twenty meters wide with a total extension of 1,280 meters and an average height of twenty three meters.[3] It was built by the Marquis Juan Antonio de la Urrutia y Arana between 1726 and 1738 at the request of the nuns of the Santa Clara Convent to bring water to the residents of the city from La Cañada.[20]

Aqueduct of Santiago de Querétaro. Full moon over Santiago de Querétaro city. October 23, 2010. Panorama.
The city aqueduct.

Notable sites

This peace and similarity of social integration is largely attributed to the fact that the local Indigenous ethnicities and Spanish reached peace early after contact and both functioned concurrently with the Indigenous retaining their own economic and social systems while the Criollos operated in a separate but integrated society within the city. The city is notable for the many ornate civil and religious Baroque monuments from its golden age in the 17th and 18th centuries"[18] In 2008, National Geographic listed Querétaro as one of the top 15 historic destinations of the world.[19]

In 1996, the historic center of Querétaro was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.[16] According to UNESCO's website, the "old colonial town of Querétaro is unusual in having retained the geometric street plan of the Spanish conquerors side by side with the twisting alleys of the Otomi quarters. The Otomi, the Tarasco, the Chichimeca and the Spanish lived together peacefully in the town with similar standards of living, a rare occurrence at a time when the Indigenous and Hispanic were usually separated by a large income gap and at odds with one another in other parts of the nation.

Historic Monuments Zone of Querétaro
Built 16th and 17th Centuries
Architectural style(s) Baroque
Type Cultural
Criteria ii, iv
Designated 1996
Reference no. 792
State Party Mexico
Region Latin America and the Caribbean
The city is known for its many Jacaranda trees

World Heritage Site by UNESCO

In 1916, the city was again named the capital of the country due to the Tampico Affair. In 1917, the Constitución Política de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos (Political Constitution of the United Mexican States) is promulgated by the Constitutional Congress and president Venustiano Carranza.[3] This constitution still remains the law of the land.[15]

20th century

In 1867, Maximilian I of Mexico was defeated at the Battle of the Cerro de las Campanas, where the liberals took him prisoner along with Generals Miguel Miramón and Tomás Mejía.[3] In May 1867, the emperor was sentenced to death along with Mejía and Miramón in the Cerro de las Campanas.[16] No major battles were fought here during the Mexican Revolution but various of the factions passed through here given the state's location between the northern states and Mexico City.[8]

In 1847, it was declared the capital of Mexico when U.S. forces invaded the country. One year later, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed in this city, ceding almost half of Mexico's territory and ending the war. In 1854, another treaty signed here led to the Gadsden Purchase.[3][16]

After the end of the war, the Santiago de Querétaro became the capital of the state of Querétaro in 1823, with the first state congress convening at the Auditorium of the Instituto de Bellas Artes de la Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro in the city. The state's first constitution was promulgated in the city in 1825, with the city as head of one of the state's six districts. From 1869 to 1879, the districts were subdivided into municipalities, which the city of Querétaro as seat of both the municipality of Querétaro and the district of Querétaro. In the 20th century, the original municipality of Querétaro divided into three: Querétaro, El Marqués and Corregidora. The district system as a political entity was abolished after the Mexican Revolution, with the municipality as the base of local government. The first municipal president was Alfonso Camacho who took office in 1917.[8]

Venustiano Carranza and other leaders of the Mexican constitutionalist movement in Querétaro in 1916.

[16] Once the armed battle began, the city was taken by the royalist army and was the last major city to be taken by the insurgents.[17] With the conspiracy discovered, she still managed to get a warning to Miguel Hidalgo. He eluded capture and rushed to Dolores, where he gave his famous [3] On 13 September 1810, Epigmenio Gonzalez was arrested for having stockpiled weapons for the an insurgency and the next day Mayor Miguel Domínguez and his wife Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez were arrested for their roles in the Conspiracy of 1810.

Emperor Maximillian and his generals, Mejía and Miramón, were executed by a firing squad at Querétaro on 19 June 1867.

However the most famous of the tertulias was hosted by Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez herself at what is now the Palace of the Corregidora. Originally, they were open to both creoles and Spanish-born but after an altercation between Ignacio Allende and the Spaniard Crisóstomo López y Valdez, only creoles attended. The tertulias of Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez culminated in the Conspiracy of 1810, which was discovered before they had planned to act.[8]

[8] were a popular pastime for the upper tertulias Literary circles called

Querétaro is considered to be one of the "cradles" of Mexican Independence and much of the credit is given to Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez. She was the wife of the city's mayor, called a corregidor, at the beginning of the 19th century. She used her prominent position to gather intelligence for the nascent insurgency.[17]

Glassworking made Querétaro an economic center in the 1700s, and glass crafting is still a novelty trade mark of the city today.

Independence and capital status

By the 17th century, the Franciscans had been joined by the Dieguinos, who built the monastery of San Antonio, the Jesuits, who built the Colleges of San Ignacio and San Francisco Javier as well as the Dominicans, the Carmelites and the Royal Convent of Santa Clara de Asís, which was one of the largest and most opulent in New Spain. Querétaro was also the site for the training of many of missionaries that went north as far as Texas and California. Most of these were educated at the Colegio de Propagación de la Fe (College for the Propagation of the Faith), which was established at the monastery of Santa Cruz in 1683. Some of its graduates even went as far as South America.[8] Few of the buildings from the 16th century have remained intact, due to the violence during the city's initial development, which reached its peak in the 17th century. As a result, most of the city's oldest structures are of Baroque style.[8]

The settlement was declared a town in 1606 and by 1655, only Spaniards were living in the city proper. In 1656, it was decreed as the "Muy Noble y Leal Ciudad de Santiago de Querétaro" (Very Noble and Loyal City of Santiago de Querétaro).[8] This honor was solicited by Viceroy Luís de Velasco,[3] in recognition of Querétaro's growth, agricultural production, industry and educational institutions. By the 18th century, it was informally known as the "Pearl of the Bajío" and "The Third City of the Viceroyalty".[8]

1796 street map of Santiago de Querétaro

Peak of colonial era

Bocanegra continued negotiating with the lord of Xilotepeque, Conín. The lords cooperation was gained, for which he was eventually credited for bringing an end to the Spanish-Chichime/Otomi conflict and was made the Spanish governor of the area. However, most of Querétaro's early colonial history was marked by skirmishes between the remaining Chichimeca insurgency and the Spanish authorities, with one of the first being over the establishment of encomiendas.[8] Conín separated the indigenous and Spanish residents of the new city, with the indigenous on and around Sangremal hill and the Spanish around where the current historic center is.[8] The Spanish part of the city was laid out by D. Juan Sanchez de Alaniz,[3] and the indigenous section was laid out in the traditional Otomi manner. The first city council convened in 1535, and the settlement was named a Pueblo de Indios (Indian Village) in 1537, ending the encomiendas.[8] During this time, the Franciscans arrived for missionary work, who were later joined by the Jesuits, the Augustinians and other who built monasteries such as the Monastery of San Francisco, Lima and the Monastery of Santa Cruz.[16]

Spanish dominion, however, grew gradually, and was definitively not won through just a single battle. In the 1520s, the Otomis and many Chichimecas of what is now southern Querétaro and northern Mexico State allied with Hernán Cortés under the control of the lord of Xilotepeque, who still maintained a certain amount of control of the old dominion. The first Spanish arrived between 1526 and 1529, headed by Hernán Pérez de Bocanegra.[8] Bocanegra at first tried non-violent means of subduing the area and founding a Spanish city.[16] However, the initial attempts to establish the city of Querétaro were repelled by the locals, forcing Bocanegra south and establishing the cities of Huimilpan and Acámbaro.

The foundation of the Spanish city of Santiago de Querétaro is pegged to 25 July 1531 when Spaniard Hernán Pérez Bocanegra y Córdoba arrived with the allied Otomi leader Conín (later named Fernando de Tapia) who was the administrative head of the Otomi peoples living in Aztec controlled territory.[3] On this date, the Spanish and their Nahuan allies were battling the local insurgent Otomi and Chichimecas at a hill now known as Sangremal and which was called Ynlotepeque and considered sacred in pre-Hispanic times. Chronicles of this event, such as that written by Friar Isidro Félix de Espinoza, state that the Chichimeca were at the point of winning when a total eclipse of the sun occurred. This supposedly scared the Chichimeca and the Spanish claimed to have seen an image of Saint James (the patron saint of Spain) riding a white horse carrying a rose-colored cross. This event caused the Chichimeca to surrender.[8] This event is why the city is called Santiago (Saint James) de Querétaro, with James as patron saint.[3][15] A stone cross imitating the one the Spanish supposedly saw was erected on the hill, which later was accompanied by a church and monastery.[3]

Aztec ballcourt of Las Ranas.



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