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Mexican Cultural Tour Offers a Trip Inside Cholula Pyramid
Garden of the altars in Cholula, Puebla, Mexico. Photo: Mauricio Marat/INAH.

PUEBLA, MEXICO.- When walking across the interior tunnels of the Cholula Pyramid in Puebla, visitors will be able to transit inside the greatest Prehispanic structure: each of its sides is 400 meters long, exceeding the Sun pyramid, 215 meters long.

The possibility of experimenting what archaeologists do when exploring is offered in the cultural tour “A church for every saint in Cholula, Puebla”, organized by the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) through its Cultural Tourism Office, scheduled in Saturday June 27th 2009 and guided by historian Juana Belman. The visit to Cholula Pyramid includes the 16th century constructions of San Andres Cholula Ex Convent, Saint Gabriel Temple and the Capilla Real (Royal Chapel).

Cholula Pyramid, which last constructive stage dates between 200 and 400 AD, was used during the Colony to build the Remedies Church, merging Prehispanic and European cultures.

At Cholula Archaeological Zone, 4 altars with bas-reliefs, one of them with 2 feathered serpents can be admired. “Tunnels are probing wells made to explore the different constructive stages of the base; they are 700 meters long and staircases and other Prehispanic structures can be seen”, explained the INAH expert.

San Andres convent conjunct will be visited. This 16th century building is settled over some Prehispanic structures. To present, this construction lodges the Franciscan Library of the Las Americas University.

The ex convent consists on a main square, an atrium and the church dedicated to Saint Gabriel, built around 1630. Sculptures covered with gold leaf (stuffed) and oil paintings from 16th to 18th centuries can be appreciated. In the 20th century, the low cloister was adapted to lodge the bibliographic heap of the Franciscan order.

The Capilla Real of the convent is unique due to its 63 domes. “This is a mosque style construction with 7 little chapels devoted to different saints such as Francis of Assisi, Dominic and Our Lady of Guadalupe”.

“The Royal Chapel did not have walls during the 16th century, the indigenous people gathered there during the religious service. In 18th century, walls were constructed to let them into the church” explained the historian.

“Cholula is an important place for Mexico’s history: the first indigenous slaughter in hands of Spaniards took place here, and it was an important commercial point in Mesoamerica”, concluded historian Juana Belman.

National Institute of Anthropology and History | Cholula | Puebla | pyramid | San Andres Cholula Ex Convent | Saint Gabriel Temple | Capilla Real |

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