By Jessie Festa. My trip to Puebla was sponsored by VisitMéxico. All opinions are my own.
At the moment, many people are viewing Mexico as unsafe for travel. While there are cities you may not want to visit, there are also numerous places that are not only safe, but interesting and worthwhile. One of these places is Puebla.
With the city’s historic center being a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Puebla is culturally and historically rich. It was founded on April 16, 1531, as the first city to accommodated only Spaniards. Moreover, many important historical sites and documents have been added to the UNESCO list. For instance, the original Royal Charter and Royal Provision are part of the UNESCO-Mexico Memory of the World Register, while The Palafoxian Library (shown above) is the oldest library in the Americas, and is featured in the UNESCO Memory of the World Registry.
One really unique facet of Puebla’s culture is it’s the only place you can find Talavera ceramics, aside for its birthplace, Talavera de Reina in central Spain. It’s one of the most important folk art expressions in Mexico, and is named after the city of Talavera de Reina in central Spain. The style has Chinese and Arab origins, and is distinguished by the fine clays found in Puebla, fired with a tin and lead glaze at high temperatures. There are only nine Talavera workshops, all in Puebla, and all the clay for the pieces comes from the Cholula area.
There are also many unique and historical churches to visit. The Cathedral of Puebla is thought to be one of the most beautiful cathedrals in the world, and also contains an important art collection featuring paintings, sculptures, music compositions and documents. Furthermore, the structure has the tallest towers on the continent. There’s also The Chapel of the Rosary in Santo Domingo Church is the greatest baroque style structure of the seventeenth century in Mexico, and its decor is covered in gold foil.
For those interested in ancient civilizations, Puebla is situated about an hour and a half away from Cantona, the largest ancient city in Mexico. It was home to the Olemec people, whose golden age was from 700 to 900 AD. You’ll explore impressive stone structures, ball courts, fertility sites, unique plants and take in beautiful views of the surrounding mountains. It takes about four hours to cover the entire site.
The main reason to visit Puebla, however, is the food. Pueblan gastronomy is one of the most diverse and exquisite in Mexico, and the world. The quintessential dish of the area is “Mole Poblano (shown above) ,” a chili chocolate sauce that goes on meat and tortillas. Other popular meal staples born from the area include “Chiles en Nogada,” spicy peppers filled with mince and covered in batter and nut sauce, “Chalupas,” small fried tortilla snacks covered with shredded meat and salsa, and “Cemitas,” which are Chalupa sandwiches. Along with eating delicious foods, you’ll also be able to see the mix of European and Mexican tradition in the brightly colored place settings, use of clay pots for cooking and abundance of Talavera housewares.
Bonus Mexico Travel Resources:
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