Cholula: Picture postcard setting for a mustard coloured church

Cholula Travel Blog

 › entry 5 of 10 › view all entries
A view of the Church

And so, another day and another day trip planned. This has to be the first time I've ever had so many "touristy" trips in one trip, but as I mentioned before, I wanted to use this trip to get a taste of Mexico before doing things on my own. I don't even know how I chose these 2 towns as part of the day trip, but I'm glad I did.

As usual, the driver picked me up at 9a, went to another hotel and did the whole bus interchange thing and ended up on another bus, and left town at 1030am. This time however the crowd seemed so much more lively. We had a Taiwanese based in NYC, an Australian man based in L.A, a French man based in Denmark (!!), an American laywer settled in Austin, a Peru couple based in L.A and me! Nice diverse mix, and needless to say, the conversation just picked off with so many varieties and cultures.

Colonial Cholula
I hit it off well with the Taiwanese - very interesting chap, he's into everything - finance, photography and travelling. That's one of the best things about travelling independently - you meet the cream of travellers and learn a lot in the process. And this chap gets credit for taking some of the best photos. First time I've asked a 'stranger' to take my picture and not bothered looking at the replay button to see how it came out!

Our ride was as usual - boring. One thing I'm noticing in Mexico compared to my UK trips is that the drive isn't as exciting here, and you can actually use this time to sleep and relax. We stopped a petrol station for restroom and rfreshments before continuing on to our first stop of the day - Cholula.

The caves

Cholula: It's located in the state of Puebla and is located about 15 km west of the city of Puebla which we were going to see later in the day. This place has two big places of interest: the pyramid and the Church. The Great Pyramid of Cholula, the largest man-made pyramid and largest Pre-Columbian pyramid by volume. The temple-pyramid complex was built over many dozens of generations, from the 2nd century BC to the early 16th century, and was dedicated to the deity Quetzalcoatl. According to the Guinness Book of Records, it is the largest pyramid constructed anywhere in the world, almost one third larger than that of the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt which I saw in May last year.

And the artist at work
Today the pyramid at first appears to be a natural hill surmounted by the yellow colour Church. The entry to the Pyramid is through caves. It wasn't really the most spectacular thing I've seen, I don't even know what the purpose was, but you have to walk through that before coming to the remains of the pyramid. Apparently there's about 8km of tunnels excarvated. At first, it looked like a bunch of ruins but once the guide explained it to us, it made sense and seemed magical.  The most bizarre thing was, if you clap, you hear something like a bird's cry immediately. Amazing use of sonographics from those days without the use of computers. Some side 'wonders' in this place were an artist who draws with wood straws, and fried grasshoppers that a lady was selling on the street as a snack. I'm veg and didn't try it, although it did look very interesting.
Paintings

And from here was a walk up the hill to the Church that one sees in all travel books and websites - the Iglesia de Nuestra SeƱora de los Remedios (Church of Our Lady of the Remedies), also known as the Santuario de la Virgen de los Remedios (Sanctuary of the Virgin of the Remedies), which was built by the Spanish in colonial times on the site of a pre-Hispanic temple. The church is a major Catholic pilgrimage destination, and the site is also used for the celebration of indigenous rites. Many ancient sites in Latin America are found under modern Catholic holy sites, due to the practice of the Catholic Church repurposing local religious sites. Because of the historic and religious significance of the church, which is a designated colonial monument, the pyramid as a whole has not been excavated and restored, as have the smaller but better-known pyramids at Teotihuacan.

Fried spicy grasshoppers, yep!
 

I quite liked this Church. As I had noticed 2 days ago in Taxco, Churches in Mexico are very ornate, ridiculously ornate which I love. It's a treasure chest for photophiles like myself. And I was blessed to meet this Taiwanese bloke from NYC, he's a passionate photographer and gave me some good tips and some good shots. The walk inside the Church was good, I was very impressed by the paintings on the ceilings of the church. You can tell that the Spanish really did put in a lot of effort into developing the colony of Mexico. It seems so rich and grand, and sure as hell a lot of money was used up.

Onwards, we'd visit another pretty Church that travel books call a complement to Cholula....

montecarlostar says:
That ridiculous ornate that you mention is called "Mexican baroque", one of our contributions to the fine arts :)
Posted on: Oct 20, 2010
YantiSoeparno says:
Even I'm an omnivore, I will not eat grasshopper or other insects :-(
Posted on: Dec 17, 2008
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
A view of the Church
A view of the Church
Colonial Cholula
Colonial Cholula
The caves
The caves
And the artist at work
And the artist at work
Paintings
Paintings
Fried spicy grasshoppers, yep!
Fried spicy grasshoppers, yep!
Nuestra Senora de los Remedios
Nuestra Senora de los Remedios
The Ruins
The Ruins
Nuestra Senora de los Remedios
Nuestra Senora de los Remedios
Inside the Church
Inside the Church
Inside the Church
Inside the Church
A painting on the ceiling
A painting on the ceiling
Lovely ceilings!
Lovely ceilings!
View of the town from the Church
View of the town from the Church
Cholula
photo by: Biedjee