Puebla, Mexico

Founded by the Spanish in 1531, Puebla (full name Heroica Puebla de Zaragoza) is the fourth largest city in Mexico, with a population of 1.1 million. It is located 80 miles southeast of Mexico City in the state of Puebla. Situated at an elevation of over 7,000 feet among mountain ranges and snow-capped volcanoes, Puebla enjoys a year-round spring-like climate. The charming colonial city is best known for the beautiful Talavera tiles that adorn its walls and interiors; for mole poblano, Mexico's national dish; and for its Cinco de Mayo battle of 1862. The historic center of Puebla was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. Puebla is a very Catholic city, even for Mexico; there are so many churches and former convents that most Poblanos can't keep them all straight. The town's full name is actually Puebla de los Angeles, "People of the Angels." The streets of Puebla's compact city center are lined with churches, mansions, and other fine old buildings. The Great Pyramid of Cholula is just outside the city and Puebla also makes a good base for exploring isolated Cantona and the ancient murals at Cacaxtla.


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Great Pyramid of Cholula
The largest ancient structure in Mexico, this pyramid is now covered in grass and topped with a church.
Santo Domingo
This former monastery church is famed for its Capilla del Rosario (1690), an impressive sight with overwhelming Baroque decoration.
Puebla Cathedral
Begun in 1545 and not consecrated until 1649, Puebla's Baroque-style cathedral is the second largest in Mexico.
Museo Amparo
Housed in an 18th-century hospital building, this museum displays a major collection of pre-Columbian and colonial Mexican art.