Location:Home > OTHERS > Experience Puebla’s Resilience and Wonders

Experience Puebla’s Resilience and Wonders

Time:2018-04-03 22:55wine - Red wine life health Click:

Experience Wonders Puebla Resilience

Experience Puebla’s Resilience and Wonders

Rescuers work on the rubble from a building knocked down by a powerful quake in Mexico City on September 19, 2017.(Getty Images)

by Christopher Reynolds

Look west on a clear day from any hilltop in Puebla. In the suburb of Cholula, seven miles outside downtown, you’ll spy an orange church and a snow-topped peak looming behind it. This church is Nuestra Senora de los Remedios, built in the 1570s, damaged by a major earthquake, now whole and open again. The peak is the volcano Popocatepetl, alive and fuming. That curiously symmetrical hill beneath the church? That’s not a hill at all. It’s the Great Pyramid of Cholula, the largest known pyramid on Earth, begun before Christ, completed long before the Spanish arrived, now cloaked in vegetation.

Consider this easy-to-misread scene a fair warning: Puebla, about 85 miles southeast of Mexico City, is full of earthen surprises, architectural wonders and human resilience. I know this from two visits. I spent five days here in July gathering information for a travel article that was to be published in the fall. Then came the magnitude-7.1 Mexican earthquake of Sept. 19, which killed about 220 people in Mexico City and 45 in the state of Puebla, most of them in small, outlying towns. I shelved the story.

But in the days and weeks after, it became clear that Puebla, whose downtown core includes more than 2,500 colonial buildings from the 16th to 18th centuries, had survived remarkably intact. I returned in February. I found scaffolding on several buildings and heard from several vendors and hoteliers about the post-quake slump in visitation. A taxi driver showed me video on his phone of the Cholula church losing the tops of its two towers. Five months after the temblor, just one visitor attraction remained shut because of quake damage — the 18th century Casa de Alfenique museum, closed indefinitely. Meanwhile, the list of what endures in Puebla is long and wonderful enough that it might astonish a newcomer. Here’s some of what I found, beginning with recent additions and rediscoveries.

Experience Puebla’s Resilience and Wonders

Nuestra Senora de los Remedios, also called Iglesia de Mercedes, on Great Pyramid of Cholula, Cholula, Mexico. (Getty Images)

OPEN FOR BUSINESS

At the base of the Great Pyramid, the Regional Museum of Cholula opened in 2017 to highlight the area’s pre-Hispanic cultures in buildings that used to be a psychiatric hospital. A block away, a tourist train (also opened in 2017) offers service to downtown Puebla for about $4 each way. In early 2016, the International Museum of the Baroque opened in the Puebla suburb of Angelopolis; its displays, monitors and projections are housed in a startling building by Japanese architect Toyo Ito. This museum is as minimalist as its contents are elaborate.

The Cableway of Puebla aerial tram opened in 2016 at the city’s convention hall, two miles northwest of the city center. Pay about $4 for a round trip, and from aloft, you’ll see that an entire neighborhood’s roofs and walls have been painted in blue and white patterns as though they were a vast piece of talavera pottery.

Experience Puebla’s Resilience and Wonders

A performer takes a break during a dance presentation in the streets of Puebla, Mexico, in February 2018. (TNS)

Copyright infringement? Click Here!