Puebla, Mexico- You never know what you’re gonna get. by Terry Zinn

A recent visit to Puebla, Mexico, an hour plus drive outside of Mexico City, is like a box of chocolates: sweet and surprising. This World Heritage City has enumerable churches that are historic and awe-inspiring. Many have plaques in English near their entrance to explain their history and architecture. This is vital to the non-Spanish speaking Americans, who are many that make the tour pilgrimage to the most elaborate structures. Many churches banish interior photography (even no flash) for the threat of theft. I was told that some of its artifacts are valuable to collectors who get photos of what’s available and then employ thieves to harvest the antiques. I wonder how this is possible as there are so many plain clothes security guards, which leads one to believe such theft is an inside job.5501ac800
None the less the interior décor can be over the top in baroque opulence where the mixing of Spanish and Mexican iconography is over powering. This is exemplified in the Santa Maria Tonantzintla Temple, where the indigenous pre Hispanic “Tonanzin” ( or Our Dear Mother) gets adapted into the veneration of the Virgin Mary. It’s a common religious practice to adapt local indigenous peoples already established religion into the converted Catholic beliefs, making the transition easier. The baroque talavera tile work of the Temple of San Francisco Acatepec is a favorite among tourists, as the exterior façade is designed to mimic a grand altar piece.
While you can occasionally find crafts people working near a tourist site, as I did with a man who makes pictures from colored hay, a downtown bizarre has many touristy items, not all made in Mexico however. Upon exiting the Moorish style bizarre on my impromptu stroll, I found a most reverent and unassuming ancient church on a quiet street. Inside were bouquets of cut white gladiolas and the fragrance was a pleasant breath in a congested city. It’s almost as if you can’t help but stumble over all the churches of Puebla.
Walking in to the Library with its thousands of vintage collections, again where photography is not allowed, you might think it only an academic visit. The surprise is waking through the buildings central courtyard on your way to the second floor collection, we found a community exhibition of Tahitian dancers. You never know what you are going to get on a walking tour.
At a reception in the courtyard of the upscale Intercontinental Hotel, we were privilege to an exhibition of classic Mexican wresters where the show is not unnecessarily in their acrobatic exploits but more for the show of costumes and masks. Another example of the surprises held in Puebla is the upscale and elegant restaurant at La Purificadora, where sections of an old convent are incorporated into the renovated and sleek architecture. An elegant cocktail venue and modern hotel with an entrance on a quite street, near a congested intersection is an unexpected and another pleasing Puebla venue.
The local La Quinta Inn is an appropriate and convenient business oasis. Besides
its convenience to a major thoroughfare and restaurant, bar and swimming pool it has a lovely high rise view of one of Puebla’s embracing volcanoes, as seen in this articles title photography. Puebla is full of surprises, which might include a demonstration of native folk dances at the Cultural Center.