After a stressful year if you are feeling the travel blues, then a trip to one of the Spanish colonized cities might be just the one. For one of a kind experience no matter if it is a solo trip or a day in Queretaro city, the city offers everything from museums, parks, fancy and exquisite local cuisine to try to even theme parks and theatres.
The capital of the Queretaro State, Mexico City is considered as the perfect imitation of a Spanish Colonial City. It has been preserved as a historic center under the banter of UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1996. The city’s history speaks about its diverse tale of its origin from the Aztec Empire to its colonization by the Spanish. The culture is known to be a multiethnic blend with rich variants which date back to its mining history.
The city has preserved well its twisting colonial-era alleys and nooks that aspires to showcase the city’s evolution through its colonial period by displaying the many restored cathedrals.
Here are the top 15 Places That Should be on the Bucket List of any architect.
1. Centro Historic
The heart of the capital sites the oldest ruins and ancestral buildings. The huge centered paved arena creates a centrality within the city having a single pole at its core for symbolism. However, most people fail to witness the sights of the panoramic view. As an architect or a designer, I would recommend taking a stroll around and admiring the environs and eventually spread the travel network.
The center consists of most of the revived buildings highlighting the colonial timelines. An admirer of solo street art or sculpture would have plenty to view as well. An admirer of street art and sculptures would enjoy the haven created in the smaller nooks from the center. A historic center is a place where one would surely lose track of time imbursed in the area.
2. Theatre of Republic (Teatro de la República)
The building is an enigma of the neoclassical style of architecture in the early 1850s. The building itself is a mixture of neoclassical style as well imitations of Greek style. The exterior was a perfect blend of simplicity and highly ornamented entrances highlighting only certain crevices and portals. Guillermo Prieto, the Mexican novelist, boldly stated that the building was a genuine representation of Queretaro society’s culture.
The entrance is known to be one of a kind visual where the entry portals create an optical gradation. Each element is a sense of ornamentation and adds to the building style. The roof is a feature itself featuring the salient railing that becomes the key highlight.
The interior of the theatre is a beautifully intricate piece. The bold style that is prominently seen is from the early neoclassical era that is sure to catch any architect’s interest.
3. Querétaro Aqueduct (Acueducto de Querétaro)
As an architect, this structure surely does help one go through the memory lane of studying the ancient architecture history in the Roman era. The aqueduct still stands as a symbol of the evolution of the colonial period of Queretaro city.
Built in the 1700s, it was mainly a water supply system created for arid regions. The aqueduct functions based on the level distribution as it supplies water from south of Queretaro mountains to the highest point in the city. The aqueduct itself is quite eloquently maintained with 74 stone arches at a height of 23m.
Despite the structure not used as per original intentions currently, it still stands as a symbolic representation of the earlier periods of the city.
4. Museo de Arte de Querétaro
Sitting in the historic center of the city, it boasts as a part of the cloister of museums. Unlike any other museum, this one exhibits the works not just in the interior but also as a part of the architecture of the building. On the patio, a bold central fountain dominates its presence and four two-level arcades that break the monotony of forming into a square.
The endless decor is emphasized quite elaborately and exquisitely boldly describing the baroque style. For history and architecture fanatics, this is a wonderful place that would enliven the artistic love for ornamentation and murals.
5. Casa del Atrio
It is extremely unique and way different from the others on the list. This boutique hotel is located in the heart of Centro historical, inside an old 19th-century mansion. The hotel boldly executes the combination of the old medical store asking with a modern vision. It boasts beautifully decorated suites with a holistic spa. The building is close to most of the museums in the center.
Despite being located in the central hub the quaint strip of old houses that site the hotel is calm and quiet. It centers on a beautiful courtyard that doubles as a botanical garden. Not just architects but the location are perfect for anyone who wants to relive the old histories as well as pamper themselves.
6. Church of Santa Clara
Originally built to serve as a shelter for Maria Luisa of the holy spirit. Was originally known to be one of the wealthiest and important temples. Currently, the only parts still intact are the reformed temple and a small annex. The stark contrast between the exterior and the interior symbolizes the ruins and preservation of history.
The interior is elaborately decorated with the plan representative of any other church. The heavy intricacies balance the simple facade of the old temple. A single huge portal allows the majority of the light to enter. The ceiling reflects paintings of Mexican heritage and culture.
7. Jardin De Zenea
The city of Mexico is known to be a plaza hub, filled with plenty of gardens and plazas any landscape architect or rather a landscape enthusiast would fall in love with the planning of these urban pockets. The center of the plaza centering a beautiful fountain dedicated to Greek goddess Hebe along with a kiosk.
The garden itself has extensions to The Temple and Great Convent of San Francisco as well as to the Plaza de San Francisco. The garden has been an important part of most of the events through the historic festivities as well as inauguration events over the years.
8. Pena de Bernal
A monolith towering over has become a sacred place of pilgrimage because of the quaint chapel halfway through. The monolith is almost 433m high that dates back to ancient times. One of the most significant and historically valuable monuments that have been preserved over the years is a must-see for any traveler. Although the walk to the peak isn’t advisable for all only experienced climbers can as the walk itself is arduous.
The trek is through the many coves and cliffs, small religious shrines, and a friendly chat with the locals is highly recommended. The stone itself is known as ‘Boulder of Bernal’, among one of the largest in the world it’s often compared to the SugarLoaf in Rio de Janeiro and the Rock of Gibraltar.
9. El Cerrito (Archaeological Site)
An archaeological site officially but mostly seen as a place of worship imbursed by the local cultures and traditions (Chupicuaro). It is known to be the first human settlement seen in Mexico originating in the boundaries of the Lerma River. The culture has a simple and low platform architecture style, extremely elaborated funeral rites, and pottery decorations.
Despite the ruins, various evidence showcases the early settlements like the pyramid walls and ruins of ceremonial centers. The site El Cerrito Toltec monumental architecture was an integration of two major features: the sunken patios and palaces and rooms with columns.
Recent excavations also show that there were majorly three constructive stages each being dedicated to the civilization mostly including a large pyramid, plaza, and various plazas and patios.
10. Palacio de Gobierno Casa de La Corregidora
A place that would pique anyone’s interest and curiosity, not only of architects. A building with multiple purposes still stands quite strong, giving visitors a glimpse of Mexican history. The palace was built to accommodate the city’s authorities but at the same time, it served even as a royal prison.
The building provides scenes that seem to be taken out of a political-based drama, with simple façade detail with the emphasis only on the entrance porticos with a central courtyard surrounded by a colonnade with semicircular arches. A simple yet timeless palace is a must-visit on any architect’s bucket list.
11. Jardin Guerro
A humble square describing the local culture and significant plazas to local artists and their art. The square is one of a kind that consists of everything- shade, seating, fountain, statue. The entrance of the square, as well as the main square, is elaborated by the bushels of a manicured tree.
The plaza itself is known to add a hint of subtlety to the concrete mass that wails of the Spanish era.
12. Plaza Corregidora
Another plaza bewitching the visuals is situated on the once garden of the Temple San Antonia. The plaza is dominated by a monumental statue of Dona Josefa Ortiz. The garden now is usually seen as a busy market.
The plaza is mostly celebrated as a monumental place for Mexican Independence. The sight to behold is the pink quarry stone on which the statue is placed.
13. Temple de Santa Rosa de Viterbo
Surely known as a baroque wonder is filled with artistic treasures. A journey through the evolution of the Baroque style; a Baroque Haven for architects or I would rather term it as ‘The trip down the era of Baroque’. Through the golden altarpiece, the entrance seems to emerge. Originally a temple, dedicated and holy, it was later opened as a museum.
The museum itself is considered to be a priceless piece of Baroque culture depicting Mexican ancestry along with its stories shown through intricate ornamentation.
14. Centro de Congresos Queretaro
One of the modern buildings in the city is the multipurpose convention center and indoor arena. Started in the year 2007 however was continuously renovated to satisfy the overgrowth of the city and state. The entire complex is divided into 3 parts.
As a visitor, each complex center is a must-see. Each has its seating capacity tending to different specific performances. For architects, the building is a sanctum of modernism that combines the local culture as well as the Brutal-Esque feels.
15. Museo Fundación Santiago Carbonell
Diverse in its unique way this place marks its significance on the list. Unlike other museums, this museum has been curated for the sole purpose of displaying works of artist Santiago Carbonell as a fundraiser. Being a key feature in the growth of the culture and economy, it is a popular destination that one can visit.
A modernistic museum houses most of the contemporary works, within the revamped house. The small and quiet museum is a big change from the other ones that seem to be elaborately detailed and ornamented. The museum interiors are quick modern visualization of the old baroque style visible throughout the city.
The Beauty of The Quaint Town That Still Flaunts its Ancient Spanish Heritage
Home to many of the baroque-style churches, the city of Queretaro is a traveler’s destination surely, especially for art lovers. Amid the bubble of architecture and art lies the heartwarming culture of the people. The local culture, cuisine, and heritage are reminiscences of how the city developed over the years and why it is still known to be a popular destination.
This city is a perfect blend of modernism and historical and a simple stroll through the city is sure to make you fall in love with the city. Queretaro city is a city that truly takes immense pride in being known as ‘The Pride of Mexico’.