Happy Friday! Time flies when you’re having fun. It has already been a few weeks since I spent a long weekend in Querétaro, a smallish city/largish town three hours north of Mexico City and a place firmly rooted in Mexico’s century-long struggle for independence.
I had been there just shy of one year prior – it was in Querétaro that Pamela and I spent our first Valentine’s Day. My return trip was solo, as the g/f couldn’t get away. I enjoyed myself nevertheless. For starters, the weather was fantastic – hot and sunny, a 180-degree reversal of the four cold, rainy days Pamela and I had spent there in 2012.
Somewhat confusingly, Santiago de Querétaro (full name) played an important role in not one, not two, but three separate independence struggles. In 1810, it was here that several disaffected Mexicans, including courier Ignacio Pérez, parish priest Miguel Hidalgo, and local heroine Doña Josefa Ortiz, plotted to overthrow their Spanish conquerors. On September 16th of that year, Hidalgo issued his call to arms, and the day is now an annual holiday across all of Mexico. Things were rocky for awhile and eventually along came the Americans, “reaching out” to help in their own selfish way. In 1848, the bloody Mexican-American War came to an end in Querétaro, where the Treaty of Hidalgo was ratified. Somewhere around this time, Austria came to the helm, and Emperor Maximilian I (of the Habsburg dynasty) went from loved to loathed as many finally grew tired of being governed by a foreign power. Although he ruled from Mexico City’s Castillo de Chapultepec, it was in Querétaro that Maximilian met his maker, in 1867. It wasn’t until 1917 that Mexico’s constitution was drawn up and put into law – in QRO again. Got all that? (Me neither.)