A Secret Gem in Mexico that We are going to Start talking About: Puebla

Puebla de Los Angeles

Let’s talk about a hidden gem in Mexico, a blue diamond, a city that has such a beautiful sky that when evening falls, the clouds over its guardian, the Popocatepetl volcano, paint it the most beautiful shades of blue, violet and pink, making it look like a postcard out of a painting. It is blue, because a large part of the buildings in the center of the city are decorated with Talavera mosaic, Talavera azul, Talavera de Puebla.

Catedral Basílica de Nuestra Señora de la Inmaculada Concepción de Puebla

The city of Puebla, formerly called Puebla de los Ángeles because it was believed that four angels had dropped two large slats forming a cross.  This gave the streets a perfect outline, dividing the city into north, south, east and west, a great Cartesian plane. You can hardly get lost, but if you do get lost, wander among its beautiful churches, in its museums, parks and gardens, its important role in history, but above all for its excellent gastronomy, famous throughout Mexico.

On May 5, 1862, the city fought a battle against the French army of Napoleon III who was determined to invade Mexico and advance to the north of the continent.  The battle was the beginning of a war that lasted 1 year, where finally The Mexican army outnumbered men by the French army, managed to win and expel the enemy.  The name was later changed  to Puebla de los Ángeles to the heroic Puebla de Zaragoza, in honor of General Ignacio Zaragoza, strategist and hero of the battle of Puebla.Puebla is a city with a great Spanish influence. It was founded in 1531, one of the first cities of the new Spain. Considering that the Spanish arrived in Mexico in 1521, Puebla is a strategic point between the port of Veracruz, where the ships from Spain arrived, and Mexico City, since it is approximately 132 km away.

Visiting Puebla is visiting the past, the present, and glimpsing the future; it is an  old town with great Spanish, French and Baroque influence. Its streets are covered by cobblestones and the facades of its large houses are upholstered with Talavera tiles, each house is different, but all are beautiful. It can take you back to colonial times, imagining  what it would have been like to live in that time, surrounded by so many churches. In the city of Puebla and its surroundings, there are 365 Catholic churches, each one more beautiful than the other. Puebla is  embraced by an excellent temperate climate, and it has a beautiful blue sky.

Talavera by @artegennaro

The Talavera of Puebla is a glazed ceramic brought from Spain in the colony, the Talavera de la Reina and reproduced in Mexico by local artisans, leaving the name of Talavera de Puebla. The classic designs are in blue with white, forming harmonious flowers and figures on your plates and crockery. If you go to Puebla, you cannot return without a piece of this beautiful ceramic, and you better buy several pieces because you will regret coming home if you did not.

Going to Puebla is visiting a living, interactive museum, full of history and color.  In  the center of the city are the museums that house the history of the colony, but on the outskirts, there is the fort of Loreto and Guadalupe, places where the battle of May 5 was fought.  It has been converted into an impressive complex of museums and parks with a planetarium and a modern cable car that crosses from fort to fort, giving you an impressive view of the city and its volcanoes.  Puebla not only is guarded by Popocatepetl, but also by Iztaccihuatl, Pico de Orizaba and Malinche.

El Popocatepetl Volcano by @nautilusnauta

The municipality of Cholula, a few minutes from the city, is an incredibly beautiful town where one of the largest pyramids in the world is located -the Cholula pyramid.  It can be entered on guided tours, but do not think you will see it with the naked eye. Since colonial times, it was covered with earth, making it look like a mountain, and a Catholic church was built on the highest part, which lives day by day so many centuries later with the pyramid.

It is a university city, its highest house of studies the BUAP, the Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, which enjoys great national prestige for its high academic level, it's great infrastructure, and its cultural contribution to the community. On the outskirts of the city, near the Valsequillo dam, is the largest zoo in the country, with free safari-type animals, where it can only be accessed by car for the protection of visitors.  Known as Africam Safari de Puebla, it is a very nice and orderly walk; it has a large, elevated terrace where social events can be held, enjoying the beautiful landscape of free animals and lush vegetation.

The city has a wide range of hotels for all budgets and tastes. I am missing the most important thing: eating. You can find  great gastronomic offerings that range from traditional Puebla food in the local market, picaditas, molotes, gorditas, and the incredible cemitas, which are like a hamburger made with round bolillo, stuffed with avocado, Milanese pork cheese breaded, potato (a local herb) and sweet chipotle chili, a delicacy. I just recommend that you eat well, otherwise, you will not finish it!

Another street delicacy that you cannot miss is tacos, and in this city, you will find a variety that you will not find in any other part of the country; Arabian tacos are made with pita bread, in marinated pork, accompanied by the king of chilies, Chipotle chilies, a sweet and spicy mixture made from chili, a delicacy for lovers of good food. We are just beginning - the main dish of the city of Puebla is the mole Poblano; a sauce made with a mixture of chili peppers, chocolate, and spices, served on a piece of chicken, accompanied by red rice, sprinkled with sesame seeds, and served with a handmade tortilla fresh from the comal it is a blessing. Another extremely popular dish in the city is chiles en nogada, but these are seasonal.  They are eaten from July to September; they are made with a large poblano pepper, stuffed with pork with fruits and spices, bathed in a white sauce of walnut and sprinkled with grains of pomegranate and parsley.

The nuns have had a great influence on food, since mole and chile en nogada were created in convents. When important characters were scheduled to visit, the nuns offered what they had, thus creating these interesting mixtures of flavors. They not only made salty food, but also desserts, which are excellent, like Santa Clara pancakes, crystallized sweets, coconut stuffed lemon, and the now famous sweet potatoes from Puebla.

A beautiful city, full of history and tradition with good people, where you will surely find a friend for the rest of your life. It happened to me, and it can happen to you, too. Do not stop visiting; you will fall in love with Puebla on day one. 

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