The colonial city of Puebla is a two-hour drive (about 100 km east) from Mexico City.
It is Mexico's fourth largest city and is also among the oldest in the country. It is one of the Mexican cities that has best preserved its colonial architecture, and was chosen by UNESCO as a World Heritage site. Puebla's warm hospitality, relaxed atmosphere, colorful surroundings and distinct colonial history make it a worthwhile destination.
Once a bastion of conservatism, Catholicism and tradition, Puebla has come out of its colonial-era shell. The city retains a fantastically well-preserved center, a stunning cathedral and a wealth of beautiful churches, while poblanos (people from Puebla) are embracing the city’s increasingly thriving art and nightlife scenes.
It has preserved its great religious structures such as the 16th–17th-century cathedral and fine buildings like the old archbishop's palace, as well as a host of houses .
The exceptional character of the religious architecture, for the most part, is well preserved and retains a great part of its original design. Because there are many public buildings, they are found in various states of deterioration and restoration. In general, the buildings in the best condition are those still used for their original purpose as administrative, educational and cultural institutions.
The city has 70 churches in the historic center alone, more than 1000 colonial-era buildings adorned with the Talavera (painted ceramic tiles) for which the city is famous, and a long culinary history that can be explored at any restaurant or food stall. For a city of its size, Puebla is far more relaxed and less gridlocked than you might expect.
© Grewals Photography 2014