-Compound of the Concord and Patio of the Glazed Tiles: It is one of the top expressions of the baroque in Puebla. Its construction was under the direction of architect Carlos Garcia Durango (who also took part on the construction of the Cathedral), who conceived it as a precinct of large proportions, with an imposing façade, a doorway of quarry stone and three precious sculptures of San Pedro, San Pablo and San Felipe Neri.
The history of the architectonic compound (formed by the Church of the Concord and the renowned Patio of the Glazed Tiles) goes back to 1535; in those times there was a modest chapel of the brotherhood of the Santa Vera Cruz that would be replaced by a hospital, administered by the same religious order.
Years later the Church of the Concord would be raised and, in 1670, the Patio of the Glazed Tiles, called so because its walls are “carpeted” with this material, would follow suit. The religious compound is located before the small Plaza of Santa Inés, on 110, 11 Poniente Street.
-La Victoria Shopping Mall: It was built during the mandate of president Porfirio Diaz (1876-1891), being one of the last constructions on cast iron in Mexico. Its particular beauty began to fade away with the implacable passing of time, until it got totally refurbished a few years ago, turning it into a modern shopping mall that conjugates the classical features of Puebla with state of the art structural features.
It is situated in the City centre, beside the Chapel of the Rosary. It has two entrances, one by the crossing of 6 Poniente and 3 Norte Streets, and the other by 5 de Mayo Avenue.
-El Parían Crafts Market: It is one of the main tourist markets in the City. Its origin is associated to a voracious fire that occurred in El Zócalo in 1976, an urban place that was stuffed with traders that exhibited their goods on wooden boxes. In order to alleviate the drama of those affected, a small retail market in the Plaza San Roque was built. Nowadays El Parían is one of the main crafts markets in the City.
It is located on 6 Norte Street.
-Barrio Neighbourhood of the Artist: It is a colourful and inspiring zone of strong colonial features, where painters and sculptors summon their muses to create splendid artworks before the curiosity or indifference of passers-by touring this showy pedestrian zone, located a few steps away from El Parían Crafts Market.
One can purchase artworks of great quality in this bohemian barrio neighbourhood by antonomasia, and while doing it feel the pulse of the cultural activity within the City. If you are lucky, you may appreciate a play or a concert in open air.
-Uriarte House: Founded in 1824, it is the best-known factory of Talavera glazed tiles in Puebla. You will know all the secrets (historic and regarding the production) of a decorative material that has almost become a symbol of the City when visiting its ambiences and workshops.
This kind of tile has its origin in Talavera de la Reina (Spain). Dominican priests introduced the technique into Puebla in the XVI century. Later the process began to acquire characteristic of its own, becoming a typical product of the State. It is situated on 911, 4 Poniente Avenue, in the centre of the City.
-University of Puebla: The colonial buildings from the XIX century of its main seat conform, according to the opinion of several experts, one of the most important architectonic compounds for educational purposes.
The Caroline building, of clear mannerist influence, stands out amongst its precincts. It was built with grey quarry stones, an element notorious on its midpoint arches and even on the window frames.
We must also mention its ample flight of stairs, from which it is possible to watch a series of paintings inspired on the image of King Charles the III, in whose honour it adopted the name of Royal Caroline College in 1770. A denomination in use until it became a university.
It is located on 104, 4 Sur Street, Colonia del Espíritu Santo.
-Main Theatre: Its long history is full of alterations, so many that its stage has been a bullfight ring in times of peace and an artillery ordnance deposit during the war for independence; singular “theatrical plays” that enrich the history of one of the oldest theatre houses in the continent.
The Theatre was inaugurated in 1760 and it has a 1600-people capacity. It is said that the lot on which it was built was an old open-air theatre of comedies, close to the indigenous barrio neighbourhood of El Alto.
It is on 8 Oriente Street corner with 6 Norte Street.
-Small Plaza of the Toads: Here the big old colonial houses of romantic balconies and imposing facades have become renowned antique shops, in which valuable centenarian objects are offered, artworks rescued from the attics of the past, and elegant colonial suites.
At the end of this trip to the past, feel encouraged to try any potage of Puebla’s gastronomy at some of the restaurants in the zone, or sip a drink in some place of dimmed lights. If your visit is during a weekend, listen to the mariachis and trios that propagate their voices on this picturesque corner in Puebla, which got the name of Small Plaza of the Toads (Plazuela de Los Sapos) due to the repeated croak of the batrachians that inhabited the riverbanks of the San Francisco. Its course has now been deviated but the name remains the same.
It is located on the crossing of 7 de Oriente Avenue and 4 Sur Street.
-Forts of Loreto and Guadalupe: Due to their location on top of a hill, the temples of Loreto and Guadalupe were transformed into strategic fortifications in 1815. Their acid test occurred on March the 5th of 1862 during the Battle of Puebla, a fierce fighting on which the national army defeated the invading French troops.
On this glorious date generals Zaragoza and Berriozábal entrenched themselves with their men in the Guadalupe and Loreto Forts, respectively, to repel the enemy forces. The strategy proved successful and the brave Mexicans flavoured the sweet taste of victory. In 1930 both constructions became property of the nation to the service of the people, turning Loreto Fort into a War Museum. They are situated on 5 de Mayo Civic Unit, accessible through the continuation of 2 Norte Street.