At the top of Sangremal hill, in Queretaro, is one of the most emblematic religious buildings of the state capital: the Temple of the Holy Cross, built in 1654. To find it you just have to walk to the corner of Independencia and Manuel Acuña streets , right in front of the Plaza de los Fundadores.
Inside this enclosure we can find the icon of one of the most famous legends of Querétaro, the strange tree with thorns in the shape of a cross, emulating the nails of the crucifixion of Jesuschrist.
Legend has it that Antonio Márgil de Jesús, one of the first Franciscan friars who worked on the evangelization of the local indigenous people, arrived at the convent in June of 1697. Tired of traveling the world, he nailed his cane to the ground in the middle of a garden, and the cane turned into a tree with thorns in the form of crosses. Strangely enough, this peculiar tree does not give any kind of flowers or fruits.
Since then, the famous tree of crosses has become one of the main tourist attractions in Queretaro, since many of its visitors consider it miraculous.
According to researchers from UNAM, the tree belongs to the genus of Mimosas, which feature this cross-shaped spines; some can reach up to 10 centimeters in length. Another particularity of these trees is that they can live more than 300 years.