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Sections of San Pedro Cholula

Cholula is located about 15 km west of the city of Puebla and the name comes from the Nahuatl composed of the two roots "choloa" and “llān” and it can mean "place of flight" or “water that drips.”

The city is located in the east center of the State of Puebla and comprises the Valley of Cholula, at an altitude of 2.220 meters above sea level and has a surface of 51,03 kilometers square. The city borders to the north with the municipalities of Juan C. Bonilla, Coronango and Cuautlancingo, to the south with the municipalities of San Gregorio Atzompa and San Andres Cholula, to the east with the city of Puebla and to the west with the municipalities of San Jerónimo Tecuanipan and Calpan.

Cholula was founded 600 years before Jesus Christ, which represents a continuous habitation for more than 30 centuries, and pyramidal buildings have been constructed since the beginning until the XVI century, as each ethnic group that lived in the region left its architectonic characteristics. The old Cholollan was an important ceremonial center of the Mesoamerican Anáhuac, surviving until the great slaughter Cholulteca, as the site for the initiation of priests and personalities of diverse cultures. During six days in October of 1519, Hernán Cortés, helped by soldiers from the ethnic group Tlaxcaltecas, committed genocide on the population, several days of slaughter were sufficient to annihilate the civil population, dignitaries and officials. History affirms that the dead were so many that the roads and the patios of the altars were dyed of red and blood ran on the streets as water in a rainy day.

By royal edict from the Prince Felipe II of Spain and granted by the Emperor Carlos V (Carlos I of Spain,) the 27 of October of 1535, the title of City was granted to Cholula.

During the colonial time, more than a hundred churches were constructed in the Valley of Cholula - circumscription of the district – but the mythical number of 365 was never reached, contrary to what locals and foreigners say. Nevertheless, the myth that the city has as many temples as days are in the year is a tale deriving from an error in the interpretation of the colonial chronicles, an overflowed desire that does not falls too far from the reality, due to the immense amount of teocallis (a Mesoamerican pyramid surmounted by a temple) encountered and destroyed during the Spanish occupation.

The colonial wealth of the theocratic city during years has been devastated by cultural predators, being tolerated by their relatives or governing friends, paradoxically, having inherited the millenarian wealth, they allowed the sacking and destruction. Also, natural phenomena have contributed to the loss of the ancestral wealth of the Cholultecas, as for example the earthquake of June 15, 1999, that affected the majority of the colonial temples. The churches of San Andres Cholula and the temple dedicated to the Virgin of the Remedies, which was built on the great teocalli were severely damaged.

The relevance of Cholula in the international context is unquestionable, particularly its archaeological vestiges, especially the Tlachihualtepel (Hill done of earth,) also called the Machihualtépetl (Hill made by hand.)


The main architectonic monuments that are located in this municipality are: The Great Pyramid of Quetzalcóatl; the Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Remedies - a church constructed on a pyramid and where the Capilla Real (Royal Chapel) was built in 1540 based on the plans of the Mosque of Cordoba and consists of 49 cupolas and seven naves. Other important monuments are: The Convent of San Gabriel - a Franciscan institution that dates from 1540 and that has a nave covered with gothic figures; the Parish of San Pedro that dates from the 17 century; the Portal Guerrero with its 44 arcs and 170 meters in length, the House of the Culture and the University of the Americas.

The archeological zone is located approximately eight km (five miles) from Puebla, by the Road Quetzlcoatl. The Pyramid of Tepanapa, dedicated to Quetzalcóatl, is the largest man-built pyramid in the world. It was a place of worship Olmec, Zapotec, Toltec, Chichimeca and Cholulteca (ramification of the Aztecs) peoples. It is regarded as the oldest city in America that it is still alive and it counts with seven superposed pyramids. One of the most impressive structures is the pyramid built in honor of Chiconahui Quiahuitl, which has a 400 meter (1320 feet) base, or what is regarded as the world's largest total volume.

One can enter by the underpasses and visit the partially excavated site, where the hill was removed to show the refined plans of the traditional period. The access to the archaeological zone, accessible to the public, is done on the northern side of the building. At its top one finds the church Nuestra Señora de los Remedios, built at the end of XVI century by the conquistadors and on days with clear weather it offers a splendid sight of the city and the volcanos. In The site’s Museum you can admire the reproductions of the frescos of the “Drinkers and the Chapulines” (Butterflies), as well as a scale model of the whole pyramid. Open Monday to Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Almost during the whole year there are saints’ celebrations in the different districts with floral arrangements, fireworks, candles, dances, masses and processions. The most sumptuous celebration is the one dedicated to the Virgin of the Remedies. The Cholula Fair is celebrated in August and September.

Among its typical dishes we can find the kidney bean tamales, the green roast, the mole Poblano, the ponche (beverage prepared with blue maize and milk,) the dulce de leche (sweet caramelized milk,) the alegria and the pepitoria (sweets made with peeled seeds of pumpkin and honey) and the cider.

The crafts that Cholula offers are based on an artistic blacksmith, fireworks and sculptured marble.

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Cholula Cuetzalan
Ç Puebla, Cholula, Church Nuestra Senora de los Remedios and Flowers plantation - Photo by SECTUR Cholula
  Puebla, Cholula, Church Nuestra Señora de los Remedios
from a flowers plantation
Ç Puebla, Cholula, Archeological Zone, Indigenous woman - Photo by 0407
  Puebla, Cholula, Archeological Zone, Indigenous woman
Ç Puebla, Cholula, Hotel Estrella de Belem, Room Andrea Mantegna 2 - Photo by Estrella de Belem
  Puebla, Cholula, Hotel Estrella de Belem, Room Andrea Mantegna
Ç Puebla, Cholula, Hotel La Quinta Luna, Main Patio 1 - Photo by 0407
  Puebla, Cholula, Hotel La Quinta Luna, Main Patio
Ç Puebla, Cholula, Church Nuestra Senora de los Remedios 3 - Photo by 0407
  Puebla, Cholula, Church Nuestra Señora de los Remedios
Ç Puebla, Cholula, Archeological Zone, Tunnel under the Pyramid - Photo by SECTUR Puebla
  Puebla, Cholula, Archeological Zone, Tunnel under the Pyramid
Ç Puebla, Cholula, Acatepec - Photo by SECTUR Cholula
  Puebla, Cholula, Church Acatepec

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