Plazas Past and Present

Templo de la Santa Cruz

Plazas are everywhere in El Centro Querétaro and each one seems to take on a unique personality, based on its own inherent characteristics.  Typically though, these gathering places are picturesque backdrops for an historic monument or a significant building.

One of my favorite plazas is distinctly Querétano.  Nestled in the sloping El Centro district, the plaza del Templo y Convento de la Santa Cruz contains several monuments including a statue of Fra. Junipero Serra.  Just on the other side of these gentle foothills looms the city’s historic aqueduct, which linked essential water to the enclave in the early days.
The plaza is one of the oldest and most treasured in the city, since Querétaro was originally founded on this site in 1531.  Surrounded by so much history, is easy to get transported back in time and caught up in past events. The original church is still impressively beautiful, but in its day this was a seriously intimidating structure. 
Peeking through arched porticoes, we get haunting glimpses of the past as the desolate interior walls continue to reverberate and whisper of the lives of those who lived here long before us. 
There’s a museum located in the old convent now, but some of the grounds are in ill-repair and unavailable to the public.
During the day, the plaza is abuzz with activity.  Buses swarm past, regularly depositing loads of commuters into the fray.  Locals make their regular pilgrimage to church while spates of vendors hawk their wares in colorful stalls. 
Amongst the purple jacarandas and the plaza’s famous thorn trees, the air takes on the aromas of tortillas toasting, corn roasting, and other mouth watering treats that appeal to the locals, passing shoppers, and to tourists. 
You don’t have to be a hopeless romantic to fall in love with this plaza. 

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