America: Mexico

Santiago de Queretaro

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A city in Mexico

 

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In Mock Battle between the allied Spaniards and Otomie Indians against Chichimecas, on 25th July, 1531, on Sangremal Hill, the apostle Santiago appeared, from a flash of light in the sky, mounted on white horse declaring Spanish victory and the founding of the city. Thus Santiago de Queretaro was born.

Walking these streets is like leafing through history book. One can take in the inimitable 18th century baroque spirit with all five senses, feeling the delicious sensuality of the golden skinned wooden alter pieces, and the carved stone of the facades, which scrolls and other ornamentation seen to break away and take flight into the sky, a human offering to the divine through this song of praise.

New Hispanic Cultural and Political Center, baroque in its buildings but not in its serene layout of straight streets and formal well defined plazas. Its fervent spirit comes from the stately homes, aromatic fountains, theatres, churches and aqueduct.

The complexity of the balconies, niches, doorways, gargoyles and wrought iron details, expresses in the ornamentation that flame of Franciscan passion that created here, before any place else in America, apostolic school to spread the faith and train missionaries to evangelize far away lands.

Inside the churches, gold covered alter pieces, with ornamental whims, were a means of expressing the faith that converted the golden forms into Christian prayers of uncontainable fervor.

As the aura of 18th century waned, with new century and new ideas, baroque ecstasy was transformed into neoclassical heaven: The curvilinear sensuality extended itself in straight line and the "Golden Firewood" of alter pieces burned to feed the linear purity of 19th century. Other poems were constructed upon this amalgamated city of poetry and stone, giving it caress like atmosphere.

 

 

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