A visit to Tequisquiapan’s past.

A visit to Tequisquiapan’s past.

Nowadays, Tequisquiapan is a place to stop by when making the ART, CHEESE AND WINE ROUTE; a government strategy to impulse tourism in the region. Throughout the year, this small town located in the state of Queretaro offers a variety of tasting experiences around vineyards and cheese houses, wicker- made indigenous crafts and tours to opal mines. However, this place also holds a past that makes its people very proud; water springs!

The presence of springs dates back to prehispanic days when the indigenous groups – Chichimecas and Otomies – named it as ” the place on the river of saltpeter”. A few decades after the Conquer of Mexico, Spaniards kept the name of Tequisquiapan that comes from two Nahuatl and one Otomi words. Tequixquitl : saltpeter, atl: water and apan: place over/on sth (in otomí). Besides the presence of saltpeter rivers that originate the construction of water parks and thermal-water spas around the town, Tequisquiapan also supplied natural water to the population since prehispanic times. Here are some of the places where you can get immersed in the past of this beautiful town.

Places with history:

Park La Pila:

After the conquer of Mexico, the Spaniards that lived in the town took advantage of two sprints that flowed in this place to build a watermill. To keep the water they made a pile and because of this, they called the place “La Pila” or the pile. Today the mill doesn’t exist anymore. However, the place keeps the name and you can still admire part of the architecture. Also, you can enjoy a day playing or riding some horses inside the park. Moreover, every year between late May and early June, the park hosts the Cheese and Wine Fair.

Entrance to the Park
Park la Pila by Aline L.

Lavaderos el Piojo (public laundries):

At the end of the park La Pila, there’s an alley with an interesting story. At least during the last decades of the XIX century, the everyday life of the people in Tequisquiapan was around these laundries. Wifes, mothers, and young girls washed their clothes while children played along the stream. As the years passed and habits changed, people stopped visiting the place and soon it was left to vandalism and oblivion. It was until the Program of Magic Towns started when the government invested money to improve the place’s image. Today the place is very different than it was before. Now it has beautiful fountains and a corridor where they exhibit artwork. But most importantly, it still has these laundries that have characterized this place since the last century.

Relox Hotel:

Along with the laundries, this hotel has a special place in the past of Tequisquiapan. Relox is one of the oldest hotels in the town. Its ideal location (next to the water springs of “La Pila”) made it easy to built pools and thermal jacuzzis for some rooms. Today, it is possible to rent private pools and beautiful rooms, or just make a quick visit to the past of this place.

Relox Fountain
Rolex’s fountain by Aline L.

The geographic center of Mexico:

After the Mexican Revolution (1910-1917), Venustiano Carranza -President of Mexico- dictated the agreement to make Tequisquiapan the center of Mexico. To commemorate this event, they made a monument (that’s actually a pendulum that swings from east to west over a country). However, according to geographical studies, Tequisquiapan is not the center of Mexico but somewhere in the State of Zacatecas… True or false, we can appreciate this historical monument.

Besides these amazing places, there are a few more that are worth visiting: Bernal old train station & Opal Mines!. However, I will be visiting those in the next adventure

For the meantime, what do you think? Are you ready to jump in the story of this magic town?

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