Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Empire Strikes Back

Today marks the 143rd anniversary of the end of the Siege of Querétaro and, not coincidentally, the end of the Second Mexican Empire. (Here's the New York Times coverage [pdf].) The famous Battle of Puebla five years earlier was just one rare victory on the road to Querétaro, but for some reason Cinco de Mayo is celebrated around the world, while the Siege of Querétaro isn't even a big deal in Querétaro. 2010 is officially "Everything About Mexican History is Fucking Awesome" year, and yet here's the monument marking the spot where Emperor Maximilian surrendered to General Mariano Escobedo on May 15, 1867:


Of course, there's still 67 years until the bicentennial, so there's plenty of time to gussy it up.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Maximilian of Hausburg made the most beautiful boulevard in Mexico City, Paseo de la Reforma. He made a lot of good stuff besides that. From nearly 140 years away, he doesn't deserve a monument where he surrender. The Paseo de la Reforma is his "living" monument anyway.

Burro Hall said...

Oh, yeah - I'm not saying that imperialist French-back oppressors are always a bad thing. One of my favorite delicacies is the Vietnamese bahn mi sandwich. Just try making that without French bread, and you'll see what I mean.

Mexfiles said...

Uh.. no. Paseo de la Reforma was laid out long after Mad Max was. Max's Mexican horse liked to amble along the path that later became the Paseo -- Max was just along for the ride. I can't think of a single thing the French puppet did, other than over-spend his budget remodeling Chapultepec.

Anonymous said...

Mexfiles: So you can't think about a single thing Max did? read, do some research man. Paseo de la Reforma was designed by Austrian architects, among them a great-great-great -great grandfather of mine, Ferdinand von Rosenzweig. (my family who keep this lastname are now "de Rosenzweig") //// Something horrible happened in Queretaro today Burro!!!.

Burro Hall said...

I'm not sure Richard badmouthing Emperor Max counts as something horrible, but I'll have a word with him.

Mexfiles said...

Fun fact about Max: he misdirected the landing craft from the Novarro when he arrived in Veracruz (21 May 1864) steering his crew into a cemetery. This was not a guy you would trust to give directions, or plot a straight line under any circumstances.

He paid some architects(with money that wasn't his)in the 1860s to gussy up his horse path -- and even cut a ribbon, but the project was re-designed before work started in 1886.

The Mexicans did him a favor shooting him before his syphilis turned him into a pathetic idiot like his wife.