Sunday, March 11, 2018

Puebla and Cholula Mexico, March 11, 2018

On my way to Cholula, I happened upon Santuario de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe which is beautiful with all of the talavera tile on its front facade-

Inside is bright and white-

Next to the church is the Mercado de Sabores where I stopped for breakfast.  I was not disappointed with my Mole Poblano-

but the mercado was not a typical Central American maze.  It is brand new, the chairs and tables are stainless steel and I could be anywhere in Canada.  This is not the Mexico I like!  The restaurant where I ate had other dishes ready:  pepian verde. ole de zancarron and mole de olla.  I would have liked to have tried all of it-

I caught a collectivo to Cholula where the main attraction is the Tepanapa Pyramid and the Santuario de Nuestra Senora de Los Remedios Church.  The pyramid is 66m tall and 450 meters square. It was built in 4 stages from the 3rd century BC to the 9th century AD.  According to the Guinness Book of World Records, it's the largest pyramid and the largest monument ever constructed in the world, with a total volume estimated at over 4.45 million cubic metres, even larger than Giza's Pyramids by volume except Giza has taller structures.  From 1 - 600 AD, Cholula was an important religious centre but then it was ruled by different groups and fell into ruin.  In 1569 the temple was already overgrown and has stayed that way-

Archaeologists think the Spaniards built Santuario de Nuestra Senora de Los Remedios on the sight without knowing there was a pagan pyramid buried in the hill-

There are over 8 km of tunnels in the pyramid but only 800m are open to the public-

Next to it is an excavated site-

and some reconstruction and uncovering-

In 1536 a cross was placed on top of the hill but it was struck by lightning 3 times.  Soon after, the church was built-

The view from the top is nice with the Volcanos of 
Iztaccíhuatl and Popocatépetl in the distance-

Another nearby church is the Convento Franciscano de San Gabriel Arcangel.  It is huge and old - construction started in 1569-

Parts of the outside are closed due to earthquake damage from September 2017.  Roof decorations fell off-

Being Sunday, the church was packed for mass-

Outside grasshoppers were for sale-

An interesting 4 way stop-

Walking to catch a collectivo back to Puebla, I saw this interesting building.  I tried to go in with the family in front of me but the policeman stopped me.  This is Cholula's jail-

I caught a collectivo back to Puebla and watched some street performers celebrating Semana Santa.  They were dancing to really loud music in the middle of the street-

Lunch was a cemita, Puebla's signature dish.  Using very fresh bread, the inside is removed to make room for the chicken, peppers, cheese, onion and salsas.  It was really delicious-

I walked to the barrio of Xanenetla to see some street art-

While talking to some locals, they directed me to the tunnels that were used during the Cinco de Mayo uprising.   They were well lit in most places except where there were explanations.  Those areas were completely dark-

Walking back to the Centro Historico, I made my way to the Callejon de Sapos, Frog Alley, where there was a flea market in progress.  The buildings are well cared for and there is very little garbage lying about-

As is typical of a flea market, everything imaginable was for sale-

La Casa de los Muñecos is one of the best examples of Talavera tile in the city-

More tiled buildings-

A nice door-

Most hotels have this type of sign out front.  It sure helps to spot them-

I decided I better go out in the night to see the town lit up.  It's even more beautiful.  The Catedral-

and the Zócalo-

I had a glass of wine in the Zócalo and then got ready for my 3 am departure from the hotel to the bus depot where I'll catch a bus at 4 am for Cuernavaca making my way to Taxco.  I think I walked my feet right off these last two days but I've enjoyed my time in Puebla.  Moving on.....

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