Friday, March 13, 2009

The Alameda

The Alameda is Queretaro's Central Park. It's a full city block square, with grand entry arches on the north and south ends. On the weekends, local families hang out here, enjoying the cool shade. It reminds me of Chicago's city motto: "Urbs in hortis" (city in a garden).

There are a lot of parks and gardens throughout Queretaro. Several, including the one in front of my hotel, were taken from the Catholic monasteries when the Mexican government throughout the 1800s dispossessed much of the Church's assets. The park in front of my hotel used to belong to the convent across the street as an orchard and garden.

The Alameda is one of my favorite places in town, especially during the week when it's a quiet oasis. A linguistic footnote: "Alameda" originally meant "place of the alamos (poplar trees). The famous Alamo in San Antonio means "poplar tree." Curiously, Queretaro's Alamdea is filled with a variety of tree species...but not one popular!