Mexico: Puebla and around, State of Puebla (November 2017)

banner-2

(This banner shows a typical pattern of tiles covering house facades in Puebla and around.)

Return to main Mexico (2002...) page

 

The state of Puebla (capital: Puebla) is located east of Mexico City. With a population of about 2.5 millions the city of Puebla is the 5th largest of Mexico. In pre-Columbian times, the region was inhabited by multiple indigenous ethnicities. When Hernan Cortes entered the area in 1519, it was dominated by the Aztecs and many non-Aztec indigenous leaders sided with him to free themselves from this domination. The city of Puebla was founded in 1531 to secure the route between the port of Veracruz and Mexico City. On May 5 of 1862, it was the site of a battle where the Mexican army defeated French invaders sent by Napoleon III. Today the area is still home to a large indigenous population with deep traditions. It is also home to a number of high volcanos, including Pico de Orizaba (5636m), Popocatepetl (5426m), and Iztaccihuatl (5230m), the three highest summits in Mexico. Popocatepetl is currently active and unpredictable.

 

City of Puebla:

Cathedral of Puebla. Built between the mid-16th and the mid-17th centuries, it is the second largest in Mexico. Its two 69m-high bell towers (one of which has no bells) are the tallest in Mexico. During the day the cathedral looks massive and is not particularly stylish. But at night it is quite majestic, thanks to a well-designed illumination system.

DSC01605

 

DSC01594

 

DSC01821

 

DSC01811

DSC01815

 

DSC01557

DSC01559

DSC01560

 

DSC01816

DSC01819

 

In the Zocalo, the central plaza adjacent to the cathedral, on a Saturday evening.

DSC01963

 

DSC01953

DSC01552

 

DSC01823

 

DSC01827

DSC01836

 

Street vendor on the Zocalo demonstrating soap bubble devices.

DSC01828

DSC01831

DSC01830

 

Ubiquitous balloon vendors in central Puebla.

DSC01693

DSC01960

DSC01554

 

Harmonipan player on Calle Cinco de Mayo.

DSC01697

DSC01698

DSC01699

 

Palacio Municipal.

DSC01616

 

DSC01614

DSC01612

 

Facade of La Casa de los Munecos (House of the Dolls), which currently hosts the Art Museum of the Benemerita Universidad Autonoma de Puebla.

DSC01637

 

Biblioteca Palafoxiana (17th century), considered the oldest library in the Americas.

DSC01732

 

DSC01731

DSC01733

 

DSC01735

 

DSC01743

 

Beautiful polychrome wood statues of the 18th century exposed in the Casa de la Cultura.

DSC01714

DSC01709

DSC01710

 

DSC01704

DSC01708

 

Sculptures and statuettes from different pre-Columbian cultures of Mexico, aesthetically displayed in the excellent Museo Amparo.

DSC01757

DSC01785

 

DSC01759

DSC01784

DSC01782

 

DSC01772

DSC01775

DSC01763

 

DSC01780

DSC01778

DSC01761

DSC01770

 

Templo de Santo Domingo: retable and pulpit.

DSC01663

DSC01675

 

Built in the second half of the 17th century, the Capilla del Rosario is the best part of Templo de Santo Domingo. From the outside, it does not look special, but its interior is stunning, whether one loves or hates its excessive gilded plasterwork and ornamentation.

DSC01646

 

DSC01654

 

DSC01667 - Copy

 

DSC01656

DSC01655

 

DSC01670

DSC01669 - Copy

 

DSC01672

 

DSC01659

 

Templo de la Compania.

DSC01546

 

DSC01943

DSC01948

 

[I took these 2 photos in November 2018 during a short nightover while on my way to Cuetzalan. Note the new brown paintings outlining features of the facade.]

 

Iglesia de San Cristobal (17th century).

DSC01801

DSC01805

 

DSC02118

DSC02115

 

Iglesia de San Francisco.

DSC02104

DSC02106

 

Mercado el Parian.

DSC01790

 

Folkloric dancers.

DSC01720

 

Portions of El Mural de los Poblanos, in the restaurant of the same name.

DSC01576

DSC01581

 

Street murals.

DSC02098

DSC02099

 

The so-called Calle de los Dulces (actual name: 6 Oriente) holds numerous shops selling sweets and candies made from milk, marzipan, fruits, and sweet potatoes. The recipes were developed in the 18th century by Carmelite nuns of the Convent of Santa Clara located in this same street.

DSC02127

 

DSC02130

 

Atlixco:

The town of Atlixco (population: 125,000) is located 30km south-west of Puebla′s center and 15km south-east of Popocatepetl′s summit. It lies at the foot of Cerro de San Miguel, a conical hill standing in the middle of a large plain.

 

Left: ex-Convento de San Francisco on the slope of Cerro de San Miguel, with the Popocatepetl volcano in the background. Right: portal of Capilla de la Tercera Orden at the foot of the hill.

DSC01941

DSC01925

 

Other views of ex-Convento de San Francisco.

DSC01938

DSC01933

 

View over Atlixco from Cerro de San Miguel.

DSC01932

 

Volcanos Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl seen from Cerro San Miguel.

DSC01930

 

Cholula:

The city of Cholula, located 15km west of Puebla, is now virtually one of its suburbs. It was one of the rare places to resist the takeover of the Puebla area by Cortes, an act that led to the Massacre of Cholula on October 12, 1519. It holds the largest pyramid in Mexico (and perhaps in the world), Piramide Tepanapa, which now looks more like a hill than an actual pyramid.

 

Parroquia de San Pedro (17th-18th centuries) on the northern side of the Zocalo. It was badly damaged by the earthquake of September 19, 2017.

DSC01856

DSC01857

 

Main church of the ex-Convento de San Gabriel. The Santuario de Nuestra Senora de los Remedios erected on top of Piramide Tepanapa is visible at the bottom-right of the first photo below. (It was not accessible due to damages caused by the earthquake of September 2017.)

DSC01859

DSC01863

 

Some of the 49 domes of the Moorish-style Capilla Real (16th century), which is also part of the ex-Convento de San Gabriel.

DSC01873

DSC01870

 

View of Parroquia de San Pedro and Iztaccihuatl from the parvis of Capilla Real.

DSC01875

 

Murals in Cholula.

DSC01847

 

DSC01848

 

Erupting Popocatepetl, seen from Cholula.

DSC01842

 

Acatepec:

The village of Acatepec, located a short distance from Cholula, hosts a small spectacular church, Templo San Francisco (18th century).

 

Facade and bell tower of Templo San Francisco, covered with colorful glazed ceramic tiles.

DSC01890

DSC01920

 

DSC01894

DSC01893

 

DSC01922

 

 

Interior of Templo San Francisco, heavy on gilded plasterwork and ornamentation.

DSC01897

DSC01907

 

DSC01904

 

DSC01905

 

 

Six preachers embossed around the church′s pulpit.

DSC01917

DSC01916

DSC01919

 

DSC01918

DSC01911

DSC01913

 

Tonantzintla:

Tonantzintla is another village near Cholula with a spectacular church, Templo de Santa Maria. This place was originally dedicated to Tonantzin, the goddess of Fertility (linked to corn). After the Spanish conquest, this veneration was transferred to Saint Mary. The interior of the church is a profusion of plaster sculptures and ornaments of indigenous inspiration (including corn, guava, cacao...), with no space left empty. Unfortunately, I was not allowed to take photos of this gorgeous interior.

 

Facade of Templo de Santa Maria. It gives a pale idea of what lies inside.

DSC01883

DSC01887

 

banner-2

Return to main Mexico (2002...) page