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QUERETARO

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Originally appearing in Volume V22, Page 743 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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QUERETARO, a city of Mexico, capital of the state of Queretaro-Arteaga, 152 M. by rail N.W. of the national capital. Pop. (1900) 33,152, including a large Indian element. Queretaro is served by the Mexican Central railway. The city stands on a plain at the foot of the Cerro de las Campanas, 6168 ft. above sea-level. Among the important buildings are the Cathedral (said to have been built originally about 1535, and subsequently restored at various times), the Iturbide theatre (in which occurred the trial of Maximilian), the government offices, the federal palace and the churches of Santa Rosa, Santa Clara and San Augustin. The federal palace and the church of Santa Rosa are examples of the work of the celebrated Mexican architect, Francisco Eduardo de Tresguerras (1765-1833), who restored the church of Santa Clara also. The gilded wood carvings of Santa Clara are noteworthy; and in the courtyard of the federal palace there are other specimens of the same work. The water-supply is brought over a fine aqueduct 5 M. long, dating from 18th century. Among manufactures are cottons, woollens, pottery and ironwares. Queretaro has one of the oldest and largest cotton factories in Mexico, employing about 2000 operatives, and maintaining a small private military force for protection. It was built in the days when brigandage held the whole country in terror, and was strongly fortified and provided with artillery and garrison. The latter was also used to escort pack trains of goods and supplies before the building of the railway. This old factory has also played its part in the civil wars of the country since 1840, becoming a fortress whenever Queretaro became involved in military operations. Queretaro occupies the site of an Otomie Indian town dating from about 1400. It was captured by the Spaniards in 1531 and was raised to the rank of a city in 1655. It was the scene of a revolutionary outbreak against Spain in x81o. In 1848 a Mexican congress met here to ratify the treaty of peace with the United States, and in 1867 Queretaro was the scene of Maximilian's last stand against the republicans'(under Escobedo), which resulted in his capture and subsequent execution ' on the Cerro de las Campanas just N. of the city. QUERETARO-ARTEAGA, a central state of Mexico, bounded N. by San Luis Potosi, E. by Hidalgo, S.E. by the state of Mexico, S. by Michoacan and W. by Guanajuato; area, 3556 sq. m. Pop. (1900) 232,389, largely Indian. The state belongs to the elevated plateau region, with its semi-arid conditions. The N. part of the state is traversed from E. to W. by the wooded Sierra Gorda, whose spurs reach southward to the central districts. The central and S. parts are covered by plains, broken by low hills. The rivers are small and flow chiefly to the San Juan, a part of the Panuco drainage basin. There are some small lakes and swamps and a number of mineral springs. Sugar, cotton, Indian corn, beans and considerable quantities of wheat are grown, but agriculture is largely hampered by the uncertainty of the rainfall. The chief wealth of the state is in its mines. Silver, gold, copper, mercury, lead, tin, antimony and precious stones are found, in some cases in very rich deposits. The richest mining districts are those of Cadereyta and Toliman, where there are metallurgical works for the reduction of ores. The Mexican Central and Mexican National railways cross the S. end of the state and afford transportation facilities for the agricultural districts, but the mining districts of the N. are still dependent upon old methods. The capital of the state is the historic city of Queretaro (q.v.), and other important towns, with their populations in 19oo, are: San Juan del Rio (8124), Landa (about 7000), Ahuacatlan (J929 in 1895), Jalpan (about 6000), and Toliman, celebrated for its opals.
End of Article: QUERETARO
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