July 24-27, 2007
In Mexico one always begins their tour in the center of the city at the Zocola or main Plaza where the Cathedral is situated and
important buildings such as the Palacio Municipal or City Hall.
Surrounding Puebla's busy Zocola are many colorful cafés and restaurants great for lunches and people watching.
Setting out from the main plaza we found many colorful walkways and small side streets. At the end of 6 Norte we found the
famed and highly recommended Mesón Sacristía de la Campagnía where we returned that evening for dinner with our traveling
companions, Buddy and Jerry.
The old Centro area of Puebla was filled with beautiful old buildings and churches.
One of the highlights of our three days in the old city was a tour of the Uriarte Talavera Gallery and Factory where we watched
them create colorful Talavera pottery.
The six stages of creating Talavera were displayed in the Gallery, and soon we were observing each from forming the clay, to
drying and applying the first glaces.
After the glaze is dried the pots are painted by hand with brilliant hand made paints before firing.
Other processes include creating pottery from moulds. After all are dried, the company name is applied to each piece.
Our tour guide was 80+ year old Isauro Uriarte, the last of the family members who have owned the factory since 1824. The Gallery
displays many Talavera creations, including this platter that Jim purchased.
Puebla is blessed with a number of Museums. Our favorites were three that were once private homes decorated with the furniture of
those families that lived there. The first was the José Luis Bello y Zetina Museum, once part of the adjacent church property, but
sold off after the mid 19th century revolution that took away much of the church's control of Mexican life.
Their classic living room, dining room and bedroom furniture were on display on the second floor of this unique museum.
The Bello and Gonzalez Museum was situated in a beautiful corner home and contained many expensive pieces collected by the family.
Another home museum was the Casa de Alfenique with the main living spaces, along with a private chapel, situated on the third floor.
The Teatro Principal is considered one of the oldest theaters in Latin America and still houses many music and drama productions.
One of the most "colorful" churches is the Convent Church of Santa Rosa of Lima. Puebla's signature regional dishes
"Molé Poblana" was reputed to have been first created here by the nuns in residence. One thing we learned on this trip that
the word "Poblana" means a native of Puebla.
The University of Puebla Museum was currently displaying a special show of religious art centered around nuns who experienced ecstatic visions.
One display case contained religious instruments of flagelation.
Puebla was filled with many unique architectural buildings. The "Doll's House" is another famous University building so called for its elaborate decorative trim.
In passing we discovered a wonderful private home courtyard opening to the street.
And finally, the Biblioteca Palafoxania built in 1646 displayed its over 50,000 in a many leveled reading room open to the public.
Our stay in Puebla at the new NH Hotel, just across the street from St. Agustin parish, was comfortable, but just too short. We were
off by bus next to Mexico City to see the Centenary Exposition of artist Frida Kahlo.
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