Friday, August 31, 2007

Querétaro Viejo

There's a big, fairly useless park in the middle of town called the Alameda. It bans clowns (yay!), but also dogs (boo!), so there's literally nothing to do there but sit on benches - which is nice, execpt that you have to cross a ridculously dangerous six-lane highway to get there, and no one wants to sit on a bench that badly, so it's always almost empty. Mexican urban planning at its finest.

Finally, there's a reason to actually trudge over there: an exhibition of several dozen very old photographs of Querétaro (the photos are, of course, mounted on the outside of the park's fence, rather than the inside, because why go into a nice shady park when you can stand on the edge of a highway in the blistering sun?)

The photos are fascinating because they show both how much and how little the city has changed in the last century or so. To show you what we mean, we took a walk (the perro and me) around town and tried to match as many of the old photos as possible. We'll post them in a few batches so as to not overwhelm your internet connection. We've cropped the old photos pretty severely, since cameras seem to have come with much wider lenses 100 years ago. Also, it was considerably easier to set up your camera in the middle of the street before cars were invented, so most of our angles don't actually match up. Okay, enough with the excuses...

This is Templo de la Cruz, the big church up the street from us, 1910. (Fun fact: all those kids died of old age, like, decades ago):

Corner of Guerrero and Arteaga, 1915:

The Convent of the Capuchins, 1920. Trees chopped down and replaced with motorcycle pizza-delivery guys:

A bank on the corner of Juarez and the Jardin Zenia, 1922. Still a bank, but now burried under 6 inches of ugly grey cement.

More to come.


Anonymous said...

Great pictures! And you did a fine job of matching them up. The differences are remarkable. Is the Convent still a Convent?


Burro Hall said...

Thanks, Mom! (*blush*)

The convent now houses two museums, the Qro. Art Museum and the Museum of the Restoration of the City (which focuses on the trial of Emperor Maximillian, which took place in the convent in 1867).

Anonymous said...

Me encantaron las fotos, queremos más!! habrá alguna de Reforma esquina Río de la Loza?

Burro Hall said...

Eso no ha cambiado...