According to legend, in 1530 the bishop of Tlaxcala, Julián Garcés, had a dream. He envisioned a landscape: mountains and hills with a clear river running through the valley, surrounded by luscious woods and meadows. A group of angels came down from heaven to show that he should build a city here. And so Puebla, Mexico was born. It was aptly given the name Puebla de los Ángeles, or Angelópolis – City of Angels.
Puebla’s spiritual beginning is echoed throughout the city. Religious symbolism adorns the streets, with churches on every corner. The cathedral stands proud in the centre of the town, a picture of beauty and craftsmanship. The interior does not disappoint. The Alter of the Kings and the main dome are decorated to perfection, with incredible artwork by Manuel Tolsa and Cristóbal de Villalpando.
The city stands proud in it’s rich history, reflected through the numerous antique stores and markets. With everything from furniture to trinkets, these vendors are happy to share little pieces of Puebla’s past.
Take a step back in time
For a real taste of Puebla’s recent history, stop by La Pasita, a tiny old bar filled with ornaments and antiques the town itself, and from all around the world. Behind the bar is La Pasita’s own living antique – the barman. He’ll take your order and return to flicking through the local paper, with barely a word to say in between. It is exactly the customer service you’d hope for in a little Mexican cantina. It definitely adds to the experience!
No matter where you’re from, you’re sure to get a hit of nostalgia as you stand across the bar and order your liquor. A little stone cottage caught my eye and took me aback, making me momentarily home sick. My grandparents had a collection of these when I was little.
‘Salud’, we raised our glasses to family, smiling as we took the first sip. The famous Pasita drink goes down a treat, and there’s a menu full of others to try afterwards.
This unique little place is only open from 1-5pm, giving you the perfect excuse to drink during the day. Then spend a hazy afternoon wandering around town enjoying the colourful streets and spectacular architecture.
Old meets new
The entire neighbourhood is charmed by antique stores and markets. One place that embraces the modern meets antique blend particularly well is Hotel Mesones Sacristia. This charming boutique hotel catches your eye from outside, and continues to deliver throughout.
Hot pink walls create the perfect backdrop to display some incredible antique pieces, from a rocking horse to a collection of christian paintings.
The cosy courtyard is home to Mesones Sacristia’s in house restaurant, serving traditional foods often with a unique twist. The mole Poblano chicken is definitely worth a try!
Climb the focus staircase to reach the hotel rooms above. A huge wooden door with equally large key separate you from the enchantment that lies within. A unique selection of antique pieces decorate each room and compliment the decor perfectly. High ceilings and solid wooden floors capture the building’s history, whilst sky light windows and wooden beams bring character and charm.
Mesones Sacristia is the perfect place to kick back and relax after a day of exploring. King sized beds with delightfully soft sheets offer all of the comfort you could need. And in true Mexican style, there’s probably a mariachi band playing somewhere nearby that will provide background music that adds to the ambience.