Saturday, March 10, 2018

Puebla, Mexico, March 10, 2018

My first stop of the day was at the Harley store.  I just by chance googled to see if there might be one here and voila.  It should have been a 30 minute walk but ended up taking an hour.  The streets are numbered and either east, west, south or north.  However, the address on google maps was a man's name, something that sounded like Iglesia.  I tried to just wing getting there because #1- I left my phone charging in my room, #2- I didn't have a paper map and #3 - I didn't pay close enough attention to the street number.  I'm staying on 3 Poniente and by the time I quit walking and asked someone if they knew where the shop was, I was on 49 Poniente.  It's not as far as it seems as there are no even streets and so the streets jump by 2s.  Of course, everyone I knew gave me different directions and finally I found someone who had a map app on their phone.  By this time I was pretty close thank goodness but as I was walking down the street I heard someone yelling.  I didn't pay attention because who would be calling me?  Finally the man walking in front of me turned around to see what the noise was about and he told me the man was calling me.  I had asked him for directions and after I left him, he studied the map more and realized he'd told me to turn right when I needed to turn left so he was running after me to tell me that. There are some amazing people in this world!

So i got my t-shirt all right.  I've said many times that HD doesn't stand for Harley Davidson but a Hundred Dollars because you can't go into any HD store and not spend that much.  Well, this store should be called HD38.  I have never been in such an expensive store and I've been in quite a few.  Luckily I really like my t-shirt!

Walking home I had lunch at a street stall that had a huge lineup.  That's how you know it's good.  I had tender tender grilled beef with fried onions and green pepper as well as a few papas served on a fresh tortilla.  It was sooooo good.  

This fellow was finishing a masterpiece-

Eventually I made it back to my hotel and had a bit of a rest.  Later on, I went exploring.

Lots of buildings are decorated with tiles called azulejos and they add to Puebla's Baroque architecture.   Using azulejos showed off the family's or church's wealth-

Catedral was started in 1550 but wasn't completed until 1640.  It's Herreresque Renaissance and early Baroque.  The Herrerian style of architecture was developed in Spain in the last part of the 16th century and was transformed by the Baroque style as time went on.  The towers are 69m tall and are the tallest in the country-

The doors are beautiful too-

I don't think I've ever been in such an ornate place.  I didn't realize until I was walking out that pictures aren't allowed.  This tower/open air altar is sort of in the centre of the church-

The pipe organ is massive-

The altar or front of the church-

The main part where the pews are-

Next to the Catedral is the Biblioteca Palafoxiana which has over 45,000 books.  The oldest is from 1473 and was printed in Guttenburg, Germany.  Only 14th - 19th century books are welcome-

There are 3 levels and different staircases to get up and down-

The wood is all red cedar so there aren't any bugs eating the pages.  The books used to be available to the public but people defaced them so now only researchers have access.  Researchers don't need to wear gloves when handling them, just have clean hands.  

The door is made from pine and from the 16th century-

The multiple shelves on this wheel make referencing easier-

The guide said some funny things.  He said most of the books were influenced by the Catholic Church and books on Lutheranism weren't welcome, only Christian books.  Then he pointed to a picture of the Virgin and said she was from Italy.  

After the library I walked through the Zócalo - the main square.  It was packed-

I like this metal structure.  It looks like lace-

The streets were very crowded, I don't know if it's like that all the time or just on the weekends.  Cars still make their way through all the people-

Templo de Santo Domingo doesn't look like much from the outside-

but inside, the Capilla Del Rosario is unbelievable.  It was built between 1650-1690 and is gilded plaster and carved stone-

The altar of the main church is something else too-

La Calle de Dulces, Sweets Street, is pretty much overrated.  There are quite a few stores selling the same cookies, pastries, candies and cakes-

Templo de San Juan de Dios was built in the 17th century-

The bright Rococo style was a nice change-

And all the flowers were amazing.  You could smell them the minute you entered the church-

The next church was Iglesia Maravillosa.  What a different color for a church-

Inside it is undergoing an extensive renovation so all there was to see was Jesus in his coffin.  The small room was packed-

Santa Rosa is bright and simple and someone was playing the pipe organ!  What a treat!-

After, I checked out a few stores selling Talavera pottery.  It's only found in this region because of the type of clay they use and it's been around since the 16th century.  The Spanish brought it and it has a lot of Islamic/Moorish influence because of their influence in Spain in the 12th century.  All pieces are hand-thrown on a wheel and the glaze must craze and be a milky white color.  Only 6 colors are allowed:  blue, green, orange, mauve, yellow and black.  All coloring comes from natural pigments.  When the designs meld into the glaze, they fuse and are slightly blurred.  The bottom cannot be glazed so is natural terra cotta where the artist must initial and include the name of the manufacturer and its location-

I had a glass of wine on the square and people watched-

Tomorrow I've got a few more places to check out in Puebla and I'm hoping to go to the village of Chalula to see a pyramid.  So much to see, so little time!

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