Today in Puebla we will be taking a few excursions. One of our excursions will be to San Pedro is one of two municipalities which make up the city of Cholula. San Pedro is home to what is considered to be the main plaza or square the city, called the Plaza de la Concordia. In the morning, this plaza of Cholula is filled with vendors selling typical street food, sweets and handcrafted toys for children.
The main archaeological attraction, the Great Pyramid of Cholula is actually in the municipality of San Andrés Cholula, marking where that part of the city begins.
The most important religious institution in San Pedro, and the second most important after the Sanctuary of the Virgen de los Remedios on the Great Pyramid, is the San Gabriel monastery. This monastery was established over the site of the destroyed Quetzalcoatl Temple in 1529 and one of the largest Franciscan monasteries in Mexico. It was established first in the city, because this was the power center and the Franciscans had a limited number of monks in Mexico. The complex consists of a large atrium, a main church, a cloister area, and two important chapels which face the atrium area. Its architecture is rococo style Gothic.
Time for Talavera…we will also be visiting El Parian, the main market.
Three blocks from the main square of the city of Puebla sits the popular Parian, the best option for buying traditional crafts from the State of Puebla. Set up in the old San Roque square, this space has more than 100 stalls offering crafts from different regions throughout the state. It is open from Monday through Sunday, therefore, there is no excuse not to visit it.
During your stroll down its corridors you will find beautiful creations in talavera – a type of ceramic with colorful drawings – made into decorative plates, vases, glasses, tiles, trays, wall hangings, mugs and clocks. These beautiful crafts come from the capital city of Puebla, as well as from the cities of Atlixco, Cholula and Tecali de Herrera. Be sure to take one home!
A note about buying talavera!
Talavera is a type of maiolica earthenware, distinguished by its white base glaze. Authentic Talavera pottery only comes from the city of Puebla and the communities of Atlixco, Cholula and Tecali, as the clays needed and the history of this craft are both centered there. All pieces are hand-thrown on a potter’s wheel and the glazes contain tin and lead, as they have since colonial times. This glaze must craze, be slightly porous and milky-white, but not pure white. There are only six permitted colors: blue, yellow, black, green, orange and mauve, and these colors must be made from natural pigments. The painted designs have a blurred appearance as they fuse slightly into the glaze. The base, the part that touches the table, is not glazed but exposes the terra cotta underneath. An inscription is required on the bottom that contains the following information: the logo of the manufacturer, the initials of the artist and the location of the manufacturer in Puebla.