Puebla: the Talavera, the mole and all those churches!

Puebla Travel Blog

 › entry 7 of 10 › view all entries
Church of the Compania

Puebla couldn't be located in a more picturesque setting - snow capped mountains, volcanoes and plains. And Puebla today is known for a variety of things - contributes to the economy of Mexico courtesy the Volkswagon plant on the outskirts of the city, art and antique lovers revel in the trademark pottery Talavera, gastronomists can credit Puebla as the cradle of Mexican cuisine: this is where the cocoa flavoured mole sauce was introduced. And finally, tourists and Christians can, but marvel at the infinite amount of churches and cathedrals in this town. Infact it's said that even the locals have a hard time keeping up with the number of churches in this city!

We started off by having lunch at Villa Rosa.

Inside the church
It was 3pm and the food was terrible (see review below).

And from there on, we began a walk through the city for a couple of hours. All travel books and websites talk about the churches in this town. Trust me, this is no exagerration. Our first stop was the church of the Compania. This was built by he Jesuits, and the legend goes that an Indan princess came to Mexico and converted to Catholicism. But inside the church, the more interesting piece is this bit of text which actually narrates the story of a con man and how he was executed in this very church. This con man arrived in Mexico from Spain carrying a piece of paper saying that he was from the Spanish papal. Soi all the bishops in Puebla wined and dined him until they found out a few weeks later, which is when they hanged him.

Artists and portraits in the city
His head hung above the doorway of the church sending the message loud and clear - don't fool the Church!

We took a small break for churches and headed to a local market where they sell Puebla's trademark Talavera pottery. Not that I was keen, but it was a good photography moment walking through the little strip and seeing nothing but pottery.  The Talavera is a earthenware pottery. Infact history says that Moors first started making it in a town in Spain called Talavera. After excelling in it, they transferred the skills to Puebla. The irony is, today it's died down in Spain but in Puebla is a matter of local pride and identity.

After letting us wander around for about an hour, our next stop was another interesting landmark of the town - the Iglesia de Santo Domingo.

Random shot of the streets
This was built in the 17th century as part of the Dominican monastry. And I have to say it's by far one of the GRANDEST churches I've seen so far. I mean, just walk through the nave and MARVEL SPEECHLESSLY at the exquisite baroque altars. The grandest moment is the left transcept - blow your mind out looking at the Capilla del Rosario, built out of gold leaf and plaster dedicated to the Virgin of the Rosary. This church was picture perfect. It was slightly darker than other churches I had seen. There was mystery, there was aura, there was a sense of history and richness. The guide also did a very good job of explaining how to spot Santo Domingo amidst a bunch of saints - look for the holy man with a small dog by his feet which shows him the light to God.

This town I must say is incredibly crowded.

Pottery!
And like the UK, these little towns are very famous for city markets. It was incredible seeing so many people all converging in the city centre. And trust me, Mexico is hugely populated! Anyway it was now sunset and a bit of a disappointment as things were getting dark and we were just heading into the trademark of town - the Cathedral. This was completed in the 17th Century and has the tallest bell towers in Mexico. It is a mystery on how the bells made it that high - legend has it that one of the guards were sleeping at night, and when he woke up in the morning, the bells were transported to the top of the towers! The cathedral looks amazing, but the sad part is that it was really dark and taking pictures outside didn't make sense. And then, we couldn't do much inside as well as evensong was going on and we were requested not to interrupt or take pictures.

After a very very tiring day, we finally headed back to Mexico City (our last stop, the tourist centre to go to the toilets) , we saw a fashion show of contestants modelling for some cosmetic! Anyway Mex City was a mess - so darn crowded and traffic was impossible to get by. So, I finally reached the hotel at about 830pm as exhausted as one can be. To think the website says buses return to the city by 6pm! Had dinner at the rsnt itself and retired by 11pm after watching CNN updates on the Mumbai terrorist attacks.

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Church of the Compania
Church of the Compania
Inside the church
Inside the church
Artists and portraits in the city
Artists and portraits in the city
Random shot of the streets
Random shot of the streets
Pottery!
Pottery!
at the entrance of the flea market…
at the entrance of the flea marke…
Iglesia de Santo Domingo
Iglesia de Santo Domingo
Inside the Santo Domingo Cathedral
Inside the Santo Domingo Cathedral
Inside the Santo Domingo Cathedral
Inside the Santo Domingo Cathedral
Inside the Santo Domingo Cathedral
Inside the Santo Domingo Cathedral
Santo Domingo Cathedral
Santo Domingo Cathedral
The Palace
The Palace
The citys landmark - the cathedral
The city's landmark - the cathedral
Puebla Restaurants, Cafes & Food review
Touristy restaurant - avoid at all costs!
All tours going to Puebla stop at this place for lunch - and almost every patron has a bad thing to say. To make things worse, most tourist buses plan… read entire review
Puebla
photo by: Biedjee