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Published: August 25th 2014
SANTA CLARA CHURCHHistorical Background, Capuchin order in Mexico.
side view of the wonderful dome from the adjacent Jardin Gererro (Plaza). The bell tower is on the left.
The Capuchin order was a branch of the Poor Clares (hence the church name Santa Clara) of the Primitive Observance which was founded in Naples Italy in 1538. They lived in poverty & their way of life was very austere. The first Capuchin nuns arrived in what is now Mexico City in 1665 & founded their first convent. They subsequently founded convents in Guadalajara & Puebla before founding their 4th convent, San José de Gracia (St Joseph of Grace) in Queretaro in 1721. Santa Clara Templo (church)
, located on Madero & adjacent to Guerrero Plaza, was completed in 1662. The construction of the large church/convent complex, which was completed in 1662, was paid for by Diego de Tapia, a descendent of the indigenous chieftain Conín who was one of the founders of the city of Querétaro. Tapia built the convent complex so his nun-daughter Doña Luisa had a place to to study & worship. At that time, the convent/church complex occupied a 3-block area in what is now Madero, Allende, Guerrero & Hidalgo streets. The sisters of the Capuchin order moved from Mexico City to Querétaro to occupy this complex in the 18th century.
During the Colonial period It was one of the largest & most opulent convents in the New Spain & the most important. All that remains of the complex is this church & a small annex. After the Reform War, the convent was used as a prison, military barracks & offices. The Federal courts now occupy parts of the former convent. The present church became the seat of the Sacred Heart Parish in 1921. City & Restoration Museum
This former Capuchinas convent, located on Guerrero Street at Hidalgo, dates back to the 18th century & is now home to the
City Museum & the adjacent to the Restoration Museum. The City Museum is dedicated to contemporary art. In addition to their permanent collection, the museum sponsors temporary exhibitions of visual arts such as drawings, photographs, sculptures, as well as hosting performing arts events such as dance recitals & musical concerts. The museum also houses a children’s library & a film club & offers classes & workshops. The Restoration Museum has documents, photographs, books and objects that provide an insight into Queretaro’s history.
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