Cholula: Picture postcard setting for a mustard coloured church
Cholula Travel Blog› entry 5 of 10 › view all entries
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.
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.
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 from here was a walk up the hill to the Church that one sees in all travel books and websites - the Iglesia de Nuestra Señora 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.
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....