A UNESCO World Heritage City
Located northwest of Mexico City, Puebla is one of the few towns in Mexico not originally settled by Indians. Spaniards came here first and founded their Talavera tile making industry, which still thrives. The extravagant use of the beautiful tiles on church’s facades, interiors and domes and or government and commercial buildings is lovely. One of the most extraordinary examples is the 17th century Chapel of the Rosary, tiled in onyx with a carved gilt altar.
Other attractions to see are the Museum of Religious Art, once the Santa Monica Convent and the Museo de Arte Popular Poblano, once the huge kitchen of another convent-Santa Rosa, with its extravagantly and marvelously tiles arches, sinks and ovens.
In surrounding villages fantastic tile work designs cover the Tonantzintla and the nearby 18th century church of San Francisco de Acatepec. Built by the Indians, every inch of its columns, domes, arches and vaults are covered with beautifully colored flowers, fruits, cherubic faces, angels and saints - an Indian vision of a Catholic world!
Cholula, eight miles west of Puebla, is a town of colonial churches and ancient ruins. The Tepanapa pyramid, covering 46 acres and rising 198 feet is one of the largest pre-Hispanic structures in the New World. Perched atop of the pyramid is the colonial church Our Lady of the Remedies, a symbol of Spanish rule over the Indian culture.
North of Puebla, on the road to Tlaxcala and the sensational hilltop Sanctuary of the Virgin of Ocotlan, is the extraordinary archaeological site of Cacaxtla. Built as a fortress in the 7th century by the Olmecs, the walls of the temples and palaces are covered with beautiful and elaborate murals recording royalty and warriors in war and peace.
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