Doña Gertrudis Bocanegra – Heroine in the Independence of Mexico

Many of our guests at Hotel Mansion Iturbe ask us about the history of Patzcuaro, and the individuals who have played a part in it.  Few people are aware that Patzcuaro was the birthplace of one of the true heroines of the Independence of Mexico:  Doña Gertrudis Bocanegra de Lazo de la Vega.

Doña Gertrudis Bocanegra was born on April 11, 1765.  Her parents were Spanish, Don Pedro Javier Bocanegra and Doña Felicia Mendoza.  She married Pedro Advíncula de la Vega, who was a regiment soldier, and they had four children.
Doña Gertrudis Bocanegra Statue in Pátzcuaro
Doña Gertrudis Bocanegra Statue in Pátzcuaro
She was cultured and well-read, and was disposed to support the cause of Independence.

She secretly served as a messenger for the insurgents around Patzcuaro and Tacambaro, and managed to create an efficient web of communication – a vital role in the insurgent effort.  She was later installed in Patzcuaro to facilitate the entry of the insurgents into the city.
Doña Gertrudis Bocanegra's Statue in Patzcuaro
Doña Gertrudis Bocanegra's Statue in Patzcuaro
Her husband, Don Pedro de Advíncula de la Vega, together with one of their children, joined the insurgent army under Don Manuel Muñiz, which later joined forces with Don Miguel Hidalgo, participating in the historic battle of Bridge Calderón.  Both Doña Gertrudis Bocanegra’s husband and son died in the combat.

Doña Gertrudis Bocanegra’s role was discovered.  She was taken prisoner by the Royal Army, tortured to reveal the identities of the other collaborators, put on trial, and found guilty of treason and sentenced to death for refusing to reveal those identities.
Gertrudis Bocanegra Square in Patzcuaro
Gertrudis Bocanegra Square in Patzcuaro
On October 11, 1817, Patzcuaro’s illustrious heroine was executed by firing squad in the Main Plaza (now known as Plaza Vasco de Quiroga).  Today, you can see a commemorative plaque next to the tree where Doña Gertrudis Bocanegra was executed.

Now, it is the “Plaza Chica” – just a block away from Hotel Mansion Iturbe, walking north down Calle de Iturbe – that bears the name Plaza Gertrudis Bocanegra.
Gertrudis Bocanegra Square in Pátzcuaro
Getruris Bocanegra Square in Pátzcuaro
Given the proximity of Plaza Gertrudis Bocanegra to Hotel Mansion Iturbe, we suggest you visit it and see the lovely bronze statue that bears our beloved Doña Gertrudis Bocanegra’s likeness.  While you are there, you can visit the famous Public Library with its enormous mural painted by Juan O’Gorman, which records the history of the State of Michoacán, the beautiful Teatro Emperador Caltzontzin, the open-air market, with its main entrance at the far northwest corner of the plaza, and the legendary Fuente del Torito (Fountain of the Little Bull) on the southeast corner.
Gertrudis Bocanegra Square in Pátzcuaro
Gertrudis Bocanegra Square in Pátzcuaro
*Text and pictures property of Hotel Mansión Iturbe.
We also invite you to check our blog, here you will find information about Patzcuaro and the surrounding area that we hope will help you to enjoy your next trip to our beautiful Mexican Colonial Town. Here are some post that we suggest you:
Hotel Mansion Iturbe
Portal Morelos 59
Plaza Vasco de Quiroga
61600 Patzcuaro, Michoacan

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