The siege of Querétaro and the capture of the convent of La Cruz

During a walk through the viewpoint of Los Arcos, few Queretanos can resist the temptation to show the “cannon shot” that pierced the walls of the convent of La Cruz when the Republicans took it by surprise and made the imperialist army flee to its end at Cerro de las Campanas.

However, few know that this vestige could be false and that it was not a violent assault, but that, in reality, the ambush of the Republicans was so successful, unsuspected and silent that they managed to sneak into the old orchard of the same convent and enter the rooms that housed the emperor and his servants.

Some historians and direct sources, such as the diaries of the emperor’s personal secretary, Giuseppe Luigi Blasio, maintain that they entered silently through the back doors of the orchard. These are two questions that have not been fully clarified, but the strongest theory is that it was a betrayal within the imperialist army, by the officer Miguel Lopez.

What data could disprove the theory of the cannon shot?

The Convent of the Cross was a huge complex with an orchard, cemetery and the rooms that still serve as a seminary. Its walls are wide and could withstand several onslaughts of cannonballs and rifle shots. The size of the breach at that time would not have allowed many soldiers to enter at once without being discovered.

In addition, this site was a strategic point because its location at the top of the Cerro del Sangremal allowed visual control of several points of the city such as the banks of the Querétaro River, the hills of the Otra Banda, the Cimatario and the Cerro de las Campanas. Likewise, by getting rid of the thickets around them, the imperialists could discover any enemy that tried to approach. Thus, a surprise attack would have been very difficult to carry out without the support of someone on the inside.

This fact remains a topic of debate among locals, tour guides and historians. We know that the official history can be biased and wanting to defend a just and forcible seizure of the convent would be convenient for the side that triumphed, for that reason, there is nothing left but to review the direct sources to try to understand what really happened. For this, the diaries of Maximilian’s companions can be consulted.


Share with

Also interesting for you

Regional Museum of Querétaro: a vestige of the life of the friars

Characteristics of the architecture of the Historic Center of Querétaro

Cayetano Rubio: the businessman behind the El Hércules factory

Back to blog